Why Falling Asleep During Meditation Isn’t A Problem
Have you ever felt frustrated because you fell asleep while meditating?
You’re not alone.
Many of us think we’re “failing” at meditation when we can’t keep our mind clear, or when we catch ourselves falling asleep.
Self-criticism and doubt are the biggest challenges people face when learning and deepening their meditation practice.
Even experienced meditator Vishen Lakhiani was at first embarrassed when he came back to full awareness in this candid moment with Emily Fletcher. But Emily, the founder of Ziva Meditation, shares in this video that this “problem” isn’t really a problem…
Because you’re not actually falling asleep.
Instead, you’re most likely going so deep into your meditation that you’re experiencing something amazing — you’re transcending.
You’re going beyond the ordinary limits of waking consciousness, similar to when you’re in sleep — but not quite the same. And meditation (whether you nod off or not) will help you have better sleep immediately.
How Mindfulness Improves Sleep
Sleep problems are so widespread that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers it a “public health problem.”
Somewhere between 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders.
In the past, we’ve used sleeping pills like Ambien, famous for its extreme side effects, to solve this issue — but what if there was another solution?
What if we could replace sleeping pills with a natural remedy like meditation?
In a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers taught mindfulness to a group of 49 adults experiencing poor sleep, including practices like mindful eating, sitting, movement and meditation.
Compared to the group that received the standard sleep hygiene course, those in the mindfulness group saw better results in sleep, depression, insomnia and fatigue.
Both groups experienced less anxiety and overall stress.
Head researcher, David S. Black of the University of Southern California, explains, “Before going to bed, people who can’t sleep worry a lot, and they start ruminating about not being able to sleep. Through mindfulness practice, people learn how to observe thoughts without having to elaborate. It allows people to be present without further interpretation of their symptoms.”
Learn more about meditation in this short 3-minute video:
- (1:09) — The differences and similarities between sleep and meditation;
- (1:26) — Why nature won’t allow you to enter deep sleep quickly;
- (1:53) — How your body and mind work together;
- (2:31) — Why you might think you’ve fallen asleep when you haven’t.
Watch this short video to see Emily’s favorite interview moment of all time.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in developing and keeping your meditation practice? Share in the comments below.