Falling Asleep While Meditating?

When I first started meditating regularly, I had a meditation teacher guiding me. The first several times, her soothing voice would lull me to sleep. Of course, when this happens, you are technically sleeping, not meditating.

My teacher explained that falling asleep was not uncommon for people new at the practice of meditation. In this era of hustle and productivity, our minds are full of activity and our bodies run ragged all day long. The only time we stop is when it’s time to sleep. So naturally, when we first start meditating, our brain draws the conclusion that since we are still, it must be time to sleep. It was only with consistent practice that I managed to complete a meditation session fully awake and present.

Dr. Josie Dovidio meditating while sitting on a yoga bolster.

So today, I want to encourage you to stick with it.

Many of you in the Facebook group or on Instagram say, “I just can’t sit still to meditate. I can’t do it!” Or “I fall asleep when I meditate.” I hear you.

So I offer you this:

Try being still just one minute today. 
Set a timer on your phone. 
Close your eyes. 
Breathe. 
One minute. 
I promise you can do this. 

Even if your mind stays busy the whole time, do it. You are training your brain to know the difference between busy and stillness – and that stillness does not mean sleep.

Then do it daily. Think of it as exercise for your brain. Yoga for the mind, if you will.

Then let me know how it went for you in the comments!

Be well friend.

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Published by Yoga for Dentists

Dr. Josie Dovidio is a long-time dentist and certified yoga teacher who took a sabbatical from clinical dentistry to address health issues related to prolonged stress. She now helps dental professionals "undo" what dentistry does to the body, mind and soul through her Yoga for Dentists community on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Channel and Podcast.

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