Sleep is one of the greatest enemies of a solid meditation practice. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Take me for example, I need incredible loads of sleep. 9 hours per night or you can’t distinguish between me and a trash can the next morning. The same need for sleep was plagueing me when I started meditating. It was really frustrating. Either I fell asleep and felt bad afterwards for doing so, or I somehow wrestled sleep for those darn 20 minutes but with great discomfort. If you taint your meditation habit with such discomfort, you have little chance to keep it up for long. Meditation only makes sense when you can a) enjoy it most of the time and b) you are alert and awake during the process. So we have to do something about this sleepiness.
The Solution: Moderate Use of Cocain
Just kidding. Now for real: Other teachers will tell you to sit with you back up straight to keep the sleep at bay. This didn’t work for it, it just brought more discomfort. Same goes for sitting in a strenous lotus position. Another solution you might hear, is meditating with others. I don’t like that either, because in my opinion meditation is a solo practice.
I propose the following: If our minds and bodies need the sleep so deperately, let them have it! Sleep is healthy and usually a good time investment. So the next time you sit down to meditate I want you to set a timer, in case you are not already doing it. If you fall asleep the timer will wake you up. Now I want you to get up and walk around for a minute to shake the remaining sleepiness off. Drinking some water is good. And now you just give meditation another go. This time you will be less tired because you just enjoyed a nice nap and also more calm because you still carry some calmness of the sleep. And there you have it, the perfect conditions for a meditation session.
I think meditation is the most important habit to set you up for a good life. If you are new to meditation check out my comprehensive guide.
As always thanks for reading.
If you are interested in getting the most joy out of life, head over to my website HowToGoodLife.org. You will find more practicable insights like this one. I am expanding the site at least every week so stay tuned for more.