I think something that everyone encounters in their meditation practice is getting sleepy during the session. I don’t mean just a little tired, but the proverbial heavy eyelids and the feeling that I might topple over and go to sleep right here and now. Sometimes I feel quite wide awake when I start meditating but then part way through the session I start to feel tired and it’s difficult not to just go to sleep.
So here are some of the things I’ve found that help in this case:
- This will become much less common as you get better at meditation. This is the good news; it just goes away all by itself.
- Sitting well can be very helpful. It doesn’t really matter if you are in a chair or sitting cross-legged on the floor. What is important is having your back straight. Try to avoid slumping in the lower back or having a curved spine. And the more you meditate the better you get at this.
- A healthy body is good for lots of things, including meditation. Some type of regular exercise will really help you be alert through your session.
- Have a cup of tea before meditating. It will perk you up a bit. Or even coffee, which can also spur thinking, but also keep you more alert.
- If you are feeling very tired then get up and walk around, do some stretching, and then return to your seat. That’s legal! Overall, it’s best to stay seated during your session, but if you are about to drift off then shaking things up can be very helpful.
- Try using feelings of being tired as a trigger to remember to increase the intensity of your focus. Sometimes I find the tiredness goes away when I put forth a critical level of effort.
So, getting tired in a meditation session is quite normal, and getting past it is pretty straight forward.