Sleepiness During Meditation


Hi ,

I'm a student of SRF. I've been practicing Meditation for last 3-4 months. I go to deep sleep when I practice Hong Sau. I'm not sure it is normal or not. I'm more relaxed for sure .

Please advise .


—Chinmayee, USA


Dear Chinmayee,

Meditation and sleep are not the same thing. In both cases you withdraw from the five senses and become relaxed, but it is a different kind of relaxation. We usually fall asleep, passively, and energy is moving downward, whereas in meditation we consciously direct the energy inward and upward. Our goal, which can be achieved through meditation, is to tap into our higher consciousness. What you are experiencing can happen especially when you begin your meditation practice. There are things that you can do to improve your meditation and not to fall asleep.

Paramhansa Yogananda made this suggestion for overcoming sleepiness during meditation: “Squeeze your eyes shut several times, then open them wide and stare straight ahead. Repeat this practice once or twice more. If you do this, sleepiness will cease to bother you.”

To be successful in meditation it is essential that we concentrate with our full attention, otherwise our efforts will be mechanical, diffused, and lack power.

Spiritual awareness depends on two things: the amount of energy and how that energy is focused. Before you sit to meditate you can increase your level of energy and focus by commanding your mind’s attention with such practices as chanting, prayer, yoga postures, breathing exercises, and the Energization Exercises. These practices generate a strong flow of energy, which then can be used for meditation.

Keeping the eyes uplifted during meditation helps you stay more alert. It also attunes you to higher states of consciousness. If you find yourself falling asleep, or drifting off in meditation, concentrate very deeply – but without strain – at the point between the eyebrows.

You might find it helpful to shorten your meditations and focus on making them as dynamic as possible. Then gradually lengthen your meditations. Try also to meditate during those times of day when you’re the most alert and energetic.

Meditating with energy and calm intensity – plus a positive attitude – will help you to break through sleepiness.

Blessings in your practice,

Nayaswami Diksha