Have you ever found yourself dozing off while meditating? This is a fairly normal occurrence to someone who meditates, so there is no need to feel embarrassed or guilty about it. You can overcome this challenge, though, by taking a few steps to ensure that you keep alert during your meditation session. Here are some ways to stay awake and alert while you meditate.
1. Choose an upright position when meditating. You can decide beforehand which position to do your meditating in. By sitting upright, kneeling, or standing rather than lying down, you are increasing your chances of avoiding drowsiness.
2. Select a good place to meditate. Pick a spot where there is enough light and fresh air. Ventilation and comfort are key factors to the success of your meditation session. If meditating outdoors isn’t possible, opt for a room or space that is away from your sleeping quarters. Avoid meditating on your bed as this might induce you to sleep.
3. Go for the best time to meditate. This means different times for different people. Every person has his/her own peak and low hours. In your case, find the time when you are not too tired or too sluggish to concentrate. This may mean skipping siesta-time and end-of-day meditation sessions when you are more prone to sleepiness.
4. Experiment with other meditation techniques. Try adding visualisation, movement, music, koans or mantras to your usual meditation routine. These may help you focus more on your meditation and bring you more mindfulness when inattention strikes.
5. Note your meditation habits. Observe your position, posture, days and time when you do your meditation routine. Keep a checklist and record your level of alertness during each session. By checking your list, you may find a pattern that can help you choose the best time of the day, and best meditation method for you to follow to keep you from snoozing away during meditation.
If adjusting your posture, position, technique, and meditation time fails to keep you awake and alert, check your sleeping and eating habits. You may not be getting enough rest and may be too full when you meditate. Also, try to limit or shorten your meditation sessions, keeping them just under 30 minutes. Meditation is more about quality over quantity. Still, if you continue having power naps instead of meditations, console yourself with the thought that the Dalai Lama himself said,
Sleep is the best meditation.