5 Reasons Why You Might Be Feeling Tired after Meditation
You actually don’t need to worry if you are feeling tired after meditation, many times people drift off while meditating and a momentary lethargy is perfectly alright when you have tried to sit in silence for a while.
The truth is that often people don’t know that they are tired as their mind is too active to discern it and when they give all those thoughts a pause, their body might get the essential attention from them, that perhaps could seem like a tiredness that wasn’t there before.
People who are new to spiritual practices worry a lot when they feel like taking a nap after meditation because that might seem like a counterproductive thing since many books and people emphasize that meditation should make you feel more energetic.
That’s true, meditation does make you feel more energetic and active as a person, but it is not an immediate effect.
What meditation does is that it calms down your mind chatter and due to that you may realize a need to take some rest. The tiredness here is not something caused by meditation, you just gain the awareness of what your body is trying to communicate.
Exhaustion Vs Relaxation
You feel sleepy when you are exhausted and the same happens when you are relaxed. You must be able to differentiate between these two states.
When you are exhausted you need some slumber to “regain” the lost energy whereas the sleep you get when you are relaxed helps you “gain” more energy for the rest of your day. The difference is just like charging your phone’s battery when it’s empty or half full.
When you meditate, you get a deeper relaxation and when you come out of it, you should feel rejuvenated. Sometimes you may find that meditation is not reviving you and that just means that you have not been taking proper rest.
Sometimes you use up all your mental as well as physical energy without taking the essential break, so the relaxation felt during meditation can be so deep that it might make you want to sleep longer than usual.
If you get into the habit of meditating regularly for long intervals or you give the proper pause to your mind occasionally with frequent short mindfulness exercises, you will not feel the urge to take a nap after meditation anymore because you are already giving enough rest to your body and mind.
Let us look at some of the reasons that cause people to doze off during or after meditation:-
1 – Busy Life
As I have said before, if your mind is too much engaged in something, you just forget to give yourself proper rest. So, if you are doing a lot of work either physically or mentally then the relaxation that meditation brings will make you doze off.
It is also possible that you have immersed yourself in some activity you love that you don’t realize that your body is demanding for a deep slumber and when you become aware of this by meditating then you can confuse that realization with doubts about spiritual processes.
Many of my readers have shared with me that they stopped meditation because after a few days they began to feel lethargic but what they have failed to understand is that their body was in a strong need to take a break from their daily routine and do nothing for a while.
Doing nothing is also necessary, you must allow yourself to be a little lazy very often(not always) and there is nothing wrong with that. If you won’t give permission to your body and mind for a vacation when they need it badly, it will take a toll on your health.
2 – Sleeping Less
People believe that they are sleeping well if they get 4-5 hour slumbers every night, but sometimes your body and mind requires more time to rejuvenate than you know.
You never know how much sleep you exactly need, although the recommended sleep for an adult varies between 6-8 hours every day it depends on an individual, somedays you may feel refreshed after just a short 3-hour slumber and it can also happen that 8-hour sleep is not sufficient for you sometimes. A lot about this I have learned in Dr. Michael Breus’s “the mastery of sleep” program in which he teaches various ways to hack the environment and hormonal system to get deep sleep every night.
If you are someone who is looking to improve your sleep patterns then that program can help you a lot. I have said that sleep hours for people might vary from person to person, however, it depends on their body’s sleep requirement. However, in that program, Dr. Michael Breus has shown how you can train yourself to sleep for about six and a half hours each night that will completely make you feel refreshed the next morning. Here’s a short video by Dr. Michael Breus on sleep types that you might find useful:-
Meditation gives that extra relaxation to you that you might be missing unknowingly, this sometimes will make you drowsy. However, in the long term, you will feel more energetic without having to sleep much if you will meditate regularly.
3 – Food
If you keep your stomach full before meditating, you will find it difficult to maintain the required awareness to calm down your mind which will completely result in a regular sleep rather than meditation.
Your digestion system should not be active while meditating, that’s one very important lesson I learned early because I have ended up sleeping during my practices a lot in the beginning.
That does not mean that you should stay hungry because that will not let your mind to focus either, just avoid eating a few hours before meditating.
Also eating a lot of unhealthy food that takes a lot of time to get digested can cause your body to make you feel lethargic, so with such eating habits, you may start to sleep a lot more than usual when you begin to meditate.
Some food makes your mind to be more active which causes the energy levels of your body to be out of sync with your mind. This is why a lot of people prefer to eat a yogic diet when they are focusing on their spiritual world.
If you are just trying meditation for your emotional wellbeing then you don’t need to be very stringent about your diet, all you need to do is to be careful about what you are eating, mindfulness eating is something that can help you a lot in doing this.
4 – Daydreaming
The whole purpose of meditation is to observe your thought with a greater awareness than usual. We all are too much immersed in our self-talks usually that we totally miss the present moment.
Though the increased awareness to be able to observe your thoughts without getting involved in it comes with practice, even initially you must try your best to be present enough to know what’s happening in your mind otherwise you will be daydreaming as usual.
If you are as engaged in your thoughts while meditating like you usually are then soon those thoughts will take over all your attention which will eventually turn into an actual dream, so be present enough to at least break the chain of thoughts even if you get distracted for a few moments.
Without your conscious efforts to stay unaffected by your mind chatter, you will not be able to meditate properly and the whole practice will be futile. This will result in your meditation being another mind activity that drains your energy and make you feel tired which will obviously be counterproductive.
5 – Energy Healing
After a very good meditation session where you have been aware enough to allow your mind to be present in the “now” moment like you have never done before, it is possible that you may experience the unconditional love of the universe and a state of mind that you have not had for years.
When that happens you may get healed energetically, this is why some people cry or feel some other intense emotions while meditating, that’s a process of releasing stored up emotions that have been suppressed by a person.
Just like what happens after using some energy healing methods, a few moments of a deep meditation heals you and that can also leave you feeling a little tired after meditating.
Some of the best energy healing programs that I have used in the past have caused me to release a lot of emotional baggage that I was unknowingly holding in my subconscious mind, a lot of deep meditation sessions have also done the same thing for me and when that happens I physically feel exhausted which is a natural reaction of the body.
In many of the spiritual retreats that I have attended I have seen a lot of people (including myself) going through various kind of sudden emotional outbursts after which they sleep like a baby, trust me, great life changes only happens when you break the chains that were shackling you.
Those were a few reasons that I know which might make you feel tired when you begin to meditate. While meditating, actually you don’t really have to worry about anything, there are brainwave monitoring devices available these days like “Muse the brain sensing headband” that can tell you if you are doing it correctly or not, but the best way to know it is by observing how much your mind is present in the “now” moment while meditating.
You should just aim to observe your thoughts and keep yourself aware enough to know what’s happening in your mind and that’s it, after all, our ultimate goal is inner peace.
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