Sometimes your meditation habits make it all too easy to drift right off into that nap you’re trying so desperately to avoid, and there are some easy tips and tricks you can keep in mind before your next Zen sesh.
Try these 8 ways to avoid falling asleep while meditating.
1. Separate your sleep and wake time
Anyone who likes meditating first thing should try to avoid doing so minutes after waking up.
If you don’t give your body some time to adjust, it’ll be far too easy to fall right back asleep again.
“If you do it first thing in the morning, make sure you break up the time you’ve been asleep and your waking hour,” said Andy Puddicombe, the co-founder of Headspace, in a video. That way your brain won’t be confused once you close your eyes again.
2. Breathe in some fresh air
If you’re trying not to fall asleep during meditation, the MMC says you have to create an environment “conducive to wakefulness.” And one easy way to do that? Just open a window and let in some fresh air. Once you feel that invigorating breeze, you’ll perk up.
3. Don’t meditate in bed
It seems obvious, but meditating in your bed is just asking to fall asleep—that’s what it’s there for, after all. “Get out of bed, go to the bathroom, and do what you need to do to feel properly awake,” said Andy Puddicombe, the co-founder of Headspace, in a video. The app recommends steering clear of your bed altogether: Don’t meditate on it or even around it because it’ll instantly make you tired.
4. Drink some water beforehand
Drinking water invigorates your body and gets your energy levels up, so why not have some pre-pillow sesh? According to Project Meditation, it’s a great way to beat drowsiness. Just don’t drink too much—otherwise, you’ll have another problem: having to go to the bathroom halfway through.
5. Splash cold water on your face
There’s no better way to perk yourself up before meditating than utilizing the power of cold water. “Splash a little bit on your face,” says Puddicombe. It’ll instantly wake you up—especially if you’re planning on having a session right away in the a.m.
6. Don’t lie down when you meditate
Lying down and for a meditation always sounds so nice, but that position is the easiest way to go from Zen to zzz’s. Instead, find a comfortable spot to sit. “Take a cushion or a rolled-up towel and place it under your backside so you lift your posture a little bit,” Puddicombe says. “Also, focusing above the top of the head at the start of your meditation can help lift the energy a little bit so you don’t feel quite so sleepy.”
7. Don’t meditate after eating a big meal
Eating big meals instantly makes you sleepy: Your body needs that energy to digest the food, after all. According to the MMC, it’s only going to make you more tired and easier for you to pass out the second you close your eyes. Maybe try meditating before you munch instead.