Why Falling Asleep During Meditation Isn't A Problem


Have you ever felt frustrated because you fell asleep while meditating?

You’re not alone.

Many of us think we’re “failing” at meditation when we can’t keep our mind clear, or when we catch ourselves falling asleep.

Self-criticism and doubt are the biggest challenges people face when learning and deepening their meditation practice.

Even experienced meditator Vishen Lakhiani was at first embarrassed when he came back to full awareness in this candid moment with Emily Fletcher. But Emily, the founder of Ziva Meditation, shares in this video that this “problem” isn’t really a problem...

Because you’re not actually falling asleep.

Instead, you’re most likely going so deep into your meditation that you’re experiencing something amazing — you’re transcending.

You’re going beyond the ordinary limits of waking consciousness, similar to when you’re in sleep — but not quite the same. And meditation (whether you nod off or not) will help you have better sleep immediately.

How Mindfulness Improves Sleep


Sleep problems are so widespread that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers it a "public health problem."

Somewhere between 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders.

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In the past, we've used sleeping 
pills like Ambien, famous for its extreme side effects, to solve this issue — but what if there was another solution?

What if we could replace sleeping pills with a natural remedy like meditation?

In a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers taught mindfulness to a group of 49 adults experiencing poor sleep, including practices like mindful eating, sitting, movement and meditation.

Compared to the group that received the standard sleep hygiene course, those in the mindfulness group saw better results in sleep, depression, insomnia and fatigue.

Both groups experienced less anxiety and overall stress.

Head researcher, David S. Black of the University of Southern California, explains, "Before going to bed, people who can’t sleep worry a lot, and they start ruminating about not being able to sleep. Through mindfulness practice, people learn how to observe thoughts without having to elaborate. It allows people be present without further interpretation of their symptoms."

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Learn more about meditation in this short 3-minute video:

  • (1:09) — The differences and similarities between sleep and meditation;

  • (1:26) — Why nature won’t allow you to enter deep sleep quickly;

  • (1:53) — How your body and mind work together;

  • (2:31) — Why you might think you’ve fallen asleep when you haven’t.

Watch this short video to see Emily’s favorite interview moment of all time.


If you want to deepen your meditation practice, Emily Fletcher's Masterclass on Meditation for Super Performance is absolutely FREE and plays on Mindvalley Academy.


What's the biggest challenge you've experienced in developing and keeping your meditation practice? Share in the comments below.

Emily Fletcher

Emily Fletcher

Emily Fletcher is one of the world’s leading experts in meditation. She’s been invited to teach at places like Google, Harvard Business School and The Omega — but that’s a stark contrast to the busy, stressed Broadway performer that she was years earlier. During her 10-year career on Broadway, which included roles in Chicago, The Producers and A Chorus Line, she started to go grey at 27, suffer from insomnia and get sick 4-5 times a year. Thankfully, she discovered a powerful meditation practice that cured her insomnia and improved her health on the first day. After years of studying ancient practices in India and teaching thousands of high performers, Emily created Ziva Meditation, a mental technique that combines the stress-relieving benefits of meditation with the mental clarity of mindfulness.

See all blog posts from Emily Fletcher »

Tags: Mind