Sometimes your mind makes you feel sleepy in order to avoid the meditation practice. Sleepiness during meditation is very common and you’re certainly not alone if you experience it. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Becoming sleepy is a clever trick your mind plays to prevent you from facing up to difficult thoughts or emotions. If you start to feel sleepy, begin to recognize the feeling.
Ensure that you get enough sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re likely to fall asleep in your next meditation.
Take a few deep, slow breaths. Repeat a few times until you feel more awake.
Don’t eat a big meal before meditating. If you feel hungry before a meditation, eat a small snack beforehand rather than a three-course meal.
Stand up and do some mindful stretching, yoga, tai chi or walking.Then go back to your sitting- or lying-down meditation.
Experiment with meditating at different times of day. Some people feel wide awake in the mornings, others in the afternoon or evening. Find the right time for you.
Open your eyes and let some light in. In some meditation traditions, all meditations are done with eyes half or fully open for the duration of the practice. Experiment to see what works for you. When doing this, continue to focus on your breath, body, sounds, sights, thoughts or emotions – whatever you’ve decided to make the focus of your mindful awareness.
Become aware of the state of mind called sleepiness. This is difficult but worth a try. Before you feel too sleepy, notice and get curious about how your body, mind and emotions feel. This can sometimes dissipate the sleepiness and enable you to cope with it next time it happens.