**Meditation FAQs is a column answering common questions around meditation. If you have a question of your own, please share in the comments, and I will address it in a future post.
It’s not unusual to fall asleep during meditation, especially when the practice is new to us.
During meditation, our bodies experience a deep level of relaxation and healing. And, depending on how much stress and trauma our bodies are holding, they can want to prolong the healing experience.
Deep sleep is another state when our bodies get to heal and recuperate. So, it’s quite common, in the early days of developing a meditation practice, to feel sleepy afterward, or even to doze off during meditation. (If your schedule allows, after meditation is a great time to take a little nap too and actually give ourselves the opportunity to increase the healing received.)
In time and with regular practice, our bodies adjust to this new self-healing routine and no longer feel the need for a sleep boost afterward. The result is often to experience increased alertness after meditation, instead of drowsiness.
So, while it’s not unusual to nod off during the early days of our new practice, it shouldn’t be an ongoing and regular occurrence.
If you’ve been meditating for a few weeks or more, and you notice that you fall asleep every time, then it would be wise to review your lifestyle, as this is a sign that your body is simply not getting enough rest.
It’s also best not to meditate too close to bedtime; if you’re meditating at a time when your body is naturally tired and getting ready for sleep, it’s highly probable that you will fall asleep in the middle of it. This can lead to the possibility of your body associating meditation with sleep, triggering that response every time.
This is an association we want to avoid. While it’s fine to occasionally fall asleep during meditation, if it happens all the time, then we won’t get the full benefit from our meditation practice.
With regular practice, meditation often improves sleep patterns naturally, so we don’t need to use it as means to fall asleep. And, in order to derive maximum benefit from our meditation practice, it’s best to set up our routines to support being able to stay awake throughout.
Author: Hilda Carroll
Image: Unsplash/Enrico Carcasci
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Nicole Cameron
Social editor: Cat Monkman