How To Meditate and Not Sleep? 5 Simple Steps and Tips

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So you may have read somewhere or watched a video about meditation.  It’s all new to you and you try it but you end up counting 40 winks before you have even begun.  You fall asleep and it’s a cycle that maybe will put you off forever…  However, this is the same for a lot of people How To Meditate and Not Sleep? 4 Simple Steps

I am speaking from experience.  Every morning I like to think about the power of prayer and meditation.  My eyes are only just open and I think about it – should I just sit up and close them again to meditate?

I am sure a lot of people are the same.  They ponder about what meditation could do to them but never quite manage to utilise it properly.  Choosing the right time is certainly very important but this is kind of like clutching at straws I must admit.

There is a certain kind of narcolepsy to this all that can easily strike any man or woman down very fast.  What we must do to stay awake after we wake up for the first time in the morning.  Not just if we close our eyes again to meditate but just generally speaking.  I would guess nearly everyone knows what I’m on about.

The second point I would like to make in this article I think is key but I’d like to also share 4 more ideas that may really be able to help.  Of course, these are just ideas but let me know what you think in the comments section towards the end.

How To Meditate and Not Sleep? 4 Simple Steps

i.)  Don’t Get Too Comfortable

dont get too comfortable

I think this is my main problem a lot of the time.  I will be in my cosy bed, dreaming away and like no alarm clock will swing it for me.  I’ll be having the best dreams and I’ll be right back out like a light switch but yes there is only so long I can sleep for.  You soon run out of pixie dust (how I feel) yet we will still try to meditate and fall back asleep (definitely I do).

I guess this is similar for a lot of people.   It strikes me though that this is because we just wake up in the bed where it is all cosy snug and warm.  Probably Gandhi himself would do the absolute same.  So, yes we should try to actually get up put a cushion in the middle of the room to sit on.  Even if it feels uncomfortable and try to meditate like that.

Try out the lotus position.  It is very popular within meditation groups.  It is perhaps the best-known meditation position and is said to bring alignment  to your 7 main chakras;

lotus position meditation

This might take some practice.  Anyone who does Yoga will have some degree of practice but yes get yourself some cushions or pillows put them in the middle of the floor and practice this pose for your meditation.

You should find you won’t fall asleep here as you sit up.  This is my first tip.   Here is my second;

ii.)  Wake Up At The Right Time of Day

sunrise meditation exercises

This is the crazy thing.  Everything in nature is in tune with one another…  At least we should be.  The circadian rhythm is the clock of nature.  Natural things birds, animals, insects, plants, water and wind all respond to this universal power.  

Human beings are probably the only thing that doesn’t (usually) follow this trajectory.  

Still, without going too deep we can master certain aspects of the time we spend sleeping.   We might wake up early and have a later nap but actually, we might find as drowsy as we are when we awaken at the right time of day we will harness a certain power of the mind.  In a recent post I wrote about the rituals of Indian Yogi Sahguru ~ it is in his opinion that during Sun Rise and Sun Set this enhances the meditation experience considerably.

He also believes that 12 Noon and Midnight (Moonlight) are also powerful times.  My point is though there is the time you should naturally wake up and the time you actually wake up.  Try to master this.  I would say set your alarm for 5 minutes before sunrise but if not just early morning when it’s light or just before.

You should find if you do this at the right time you will be a lot more awake and your mind will be more alert. 

iii.)  Set An Alarm and Practice

set an alarm for meditation

If you are having this problem How To Meditate and Not Sleep?  One idea to try is setting an alarm to wake you back up just in case you can’t stay awake.  This may become an annoyance if you actually manage to reach a meditative state but for beginners, this is definitely something to try.

My advice would be to set your alarm for 10 or 11 minutes.  This way if you fall asleep it will wake you up and if you do manage to meditate at least you can for the best part of 10 minutes.  You could try 5 minutes if you fall asleep very fast but at the end of the day practice makes perfect and you might find this method can be very helpful.

iv.)  Allow Yourself Time To Wake Up Properly

wake up properly before meditation

Of course, I know many that struggle with How To Meditate and Not Sleep? will have this problem during different times of the day but let’s just say you struggle with this the most during the morning.  It is a popular time for most people so definitely one thing to try is to take some time from when you first wake up to the point when you begin your meditation. 

Actually, give yourself an hour.  In the Dalai Llama Rinpoches book, he explains that his usual practise is to wake up around 4:30 AM and actually just take an hour to wash, have a cup of tea and watch the news before he prepares for morning meditation.  I might be wrong here but let’s say sunrise is at 5:45 AM this gives him just over an hour to wake up.

I think this is definitely a good idea.  Of course, it doesn’t have to be so early but an hour to wake up might just be what makes the difference between staying awake and falling back asleep.

v.)  Develop a Routine

develop a routine for meditation
Really, this has to be the ultimate goal.  If you want to know How To Meditate and Not Sleep?  you must develop a daily routine.  One in which you are used to waking up at the same time every day, carrying out your morning activities around the same time and beginning your meditation rituals the only way that you know how to.

If you look at any spiritual leaders or any order of Monks, Nuns etc. amongst them you will usually find that between them is a routine.  Each day they will usually begin the day by doing the same things as before.  This includes either prayer or meditation.  None of these characters falls asleep during this practise because this is second nature.

To develop a daily meditation routine you should find that no longer will you fall asleep.  Mostly because your brain has been trained correctly on how to participate in the correct way.   Practice makes perfect.

In Conclusion – How To Not Fall Asleep

If you have read through this article then the main thing, to begin with, is to not get too comfortable.  For instance, laying down in bed underneath your duvet covers is not going to help you meditate.  The best idea is almost certainly to either sit down with your legs crossed on the bare floor or invest in a meditation cushion.

Otherwise, take some time to properly wake up in the morning and wake up at a time more suitable to your natural body

zen12 meditation review

clock instead of going back to bed to sleep.  Also using an alarm and ultimately forming a daily routine are all ways to make sure you stay awake during your meditation.  It definitely takes practice but like anything you just got to keep at it.

If you need any help there are plenty of meditation training programs to try that can help get you started.   

One I recommend is Zen12 by Inspire3.  This is a program designed to teach you how to properly manage daily 12-minute meditation sessions.  It is not the only product on the market but has some good reviews on Trustpilot so I do recommend it.


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Much love and respect to everyone looking to grow their very secret garden of the mind.

Peace Out x

Alex B. Chivers

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