View Full Version : Nodding off during meditation.

14th December 2013, 06:20 PM
I meditate on breath awareness as it seems simple enough and suits me well. I've noticed the past couple times I meditate that I'll be meditating, and I'll start to feel my body becoming more relaxed, and then all of a sudden I've nodded off for who knows how long. I will bring myself out of it as soon as I notice and raise my head up, returning my focus to breath awareness. I feel certain that this is because I actually lose focus in breath awareness and allow myself to get sucked in to mind's eye images, sounds, and the thoughts that are produced from them. Am I correct?

15th December 2013, 03:34 AM
Three comments/suggestions.

First: Make sure you're getting enough sleep. Sounds really basic, but if you're tired, and you get very relaxed, it's hard to maintain any kind of awareness. Your body's and mind's instinct, indeed, the programming, is to go to sleep.

Second: Try meditating in a less comfortable position or location. For example, sitting in a chair. You need to be comfortable enough to relax, but not so comfortable that you'll easily fall asleep.

Third: Maintaining awareness in a relaxed state takes practice. The more you do it, the more able you are to do it, just like physical exercise. It builds up over time if you keep at it. In time you can get to where you can enter a light trance state anywhere and at any time. Just practice, really, and it will develop at its own pace. ;)

15th December 2013, 09:00 AM
Totally second ButterFlyWoman's advice as it is exactly that way for myself. Sleep is my main enemy, although I sleep enough I often have to take a nap before trance practice or meditation to actually keep awareness throughout the whole session.

15th December 2013, 01:20 PM
Yeah, I completely agree with you guys. This morning i meditated for about 40 minutes. I really committed to focus on breath awareness; I literally had to focus at every second to stay on breath awareness and not get carried off by music in my head, and thoughts. I would let the sound of my inner breathing in and out fill my head, but every couple seconds, a tune would creep up in my head, which always causes associated random thoughts to come up as well! I would be steadfast to returning to the inner quietness of my breathing. On a positive note, I didn't nod off, not even in the slightest!

15th December 2013, 01:32 PM
Ah, when the thoughts start to sneak back in, just gently push them aside, with the understanding and knowledge that you can deal with them another time. It helps to have that thought in place. Most of us are conditioned to think that our thoughts are important and need to be dealt with and looked at and so on, so instead of fighting it, just gently push them away with the simple understanding that in a little while, they can come back and you can look at them then.

I say this as someone who used to have the noisiest, most persistent thoughts you can imagine; was a real cacophany inside my head! Much better now after years of meditative work, so it does get better, and it gets better on its own. One day, several years ago, I just suddenly realised, "Hey, I'm not thinking anything!" and I wasn't even in a meditative state. Of course, the moment I thought that, I was thinking again, but there are often times when my mind is just quiet. It's extraordinary, and I didn't "do" anything to get it to happen other than meditate regularly until it happened on its own. :)

15th December 2013, 01:40 PM
For me its the music, I'll hear some tune which I heard driving home, which will bring up the thought of driving, which sill bring up the thought, did I put enough gas in', etc. It takes some real discipline to quiet all that stuff down! I do seem to slowly but surely be getting better though.

15th December 2013, 01:44 PM
Yeah, the train of thought that runs off with you. I know it well. :)

15th December 2013, 02:02 PM
Is it normal that I have to refocus towards silence every second or two; else the music comes back full force?

15th December 2013, 04:23 PM
Yes its normal :) It takes a great deal of focus to direct your awareness where you want, more so in the beginning.

15th December 2013, 05:57 PM
It sure does! You see, I had a spiritual practice going on some 5-7 years back, but unfortunately I was sidetracked from it. At the time, I had silenced my mind enough to attain a moderate level of trance. However, after not carrying any sort of disciplined meditation practice for so long, my mind has gathered a lot of energetic momentum towards being a chatterbox. In other words, I've actually allowed my energy to be invested into being a chatterbox in my own head, talking amongst my own self, if you get my drift. Now I'm at a point where I've turned back around to go in that same spiritual direction, but it seems to be taking more effort than ever before!

16th December 2013, 04:59 AM
It's like building endurance for physical exercise. At first, you get winded really easily and get tired really quickly. But the more you do, the more you CAN do. So if you just keep at it, you'll build up those metaphorical "muscles" and have better ability to focus and release thoughts and all that stuff. You're doing well; the biggest thing is being aware of what's going on and keeping at it! :)

17th December 2013, 01:43 PM
Thanks for all your advice! I've shortened my meditations down to 15-25 minute sessions as opposed to 40-60 minutes. I've completely stopped the nodding off, and I've been more diligent to keep my mind COMPLETELY clear during the meditation. Even if music, images, and thoughts pop back up only seconds after silencing them, I'm steadfast in keeping them quiet. Also, throughout the entire day, even amongst doing daily activities, I do my best to keep my mind quiet, focusing on breath awareness. I find if nothing else it's good practice, and good discipline!

17th December 2013, 04:33 PM
You ARE doing well! Good on you. :)

Aunt Clair
5th April 2014, 02:03 PM
An ideal time for meditation circle is 7:30 pm as the evening meal is digested enough to prevent hunger or rumblings and the mystic is relaxed but not ready for bed yet. Changing the time could help if nodding becomes a problem.