Why do I feel tired when I meditate?
I have a good friend that is hesitant to start a meditation practice. She does not want to commit to a daily meditation due to feeling tired and sleepy. In the past, She attended meditation classes at a yoga studio, and she always falls asleep.
Recently My friend said to me: “What is the point of meditating if I am going to fall asleep?”
Today I want to address the issue of feeling tired in meditation. I know that my friend is not alone in this situation. Falling asleep when you are meditating is a common situation that happens to many people.
Why do we feel tired?
Let me start by clarifying that meditation does not make people tired. When you sit in meditation, you are slowing down, which allows you to realize how tired you are. The meditation didn’t create the tiredness. You were already tired, and just you didn’t know it.
Many people are sleep deprived, and when they sit to meditate, their lack of sleep begins to show as feeling tired. You are not doing something to create sleepiness.
Please do not think that you are doing something wrong. You do not need to try to change how you feel, either. In meditation, we bring awareness to how you feel, and if it means that you are tired, that is okay.
What can I do?
When you feel low on energy in meditation, simply be kind to yourself and be okay with it. You can continue your practice and accept that you are tired. If you feel that you are becoming sleepy or it feels uncomfortable, you can open your eyes.
Open your eyes
When you open your eyes, find a point of focus in front of you. Place your sight in an object and carry on with your practice. Some people like to stand up to reset and then quickly sit down and continue. Both options are good.
Notice your posture
Drowsiness can also be a sign of a slouched posture. If you feel drowsy when you meditate, notice your posture. It could be you are not able to fully fill your lungs with each breath. Adjust your posture, elongate the spine, open your chest, and maximize the room to breathe more fully.
Time of day
Also, consider changing the time of day when you are doing your practice. Think about the morning or times that you feel you have more energy instead of night-time practice. In the evening you are more likely to feel tired and sleepy.
Finally, consider reducing the amount of time you spend in your meditation. You can shorten the training to make it easier on your body and may be spread your practice through your day doing short meditation practices rather than an extended seated session.
After trying these tips, you might still fall asleep and that is okay. Your body needs the rest and that is very important for your well-being. Your meditation and your effort still count.
“Be kind to your body, gentle with your mind and patient with your heart. “-Becca Lee
What challenges are you having with your meditation practice?