Meditation while sleeping

Can You Meditate While Sleeping?

Is it possible to be meditative while sleeping? If you try to bring spirituality into sleep, explains Sadhguru, the only thing you will get is a bad night’s rest. Meditation, he says, is not something that you can do, but if you bring the quality into yourself, it will not leave you whether in wakefulness or sleep.

ArticleApr 16, 2019

Sadhguru: Oh, you are talking about multi-tasking your meditation. Do you want to make use of meditation to sleep or make use of sleep to meditate? Which way are you talking - how to meditate when you are sleeping, or how to sleep when you are meditating?

Asking the Wrong Question

There is a beautiful story which happened with Ibrahim, a Sufi master. He gathered a large number of disciples, and one day in his retreat, two young men met. A glorious sunset was happening, but both of them were sitting there miserably.

They were struggling with their smoking habit. They discussed, “Why don’t we just go and ask the master whether we can smoke? Who knows? He is quite wacky. He may say okay, or he may supply us with something more than tobacco.”

So they decided to go and ask him separately. The next day evening, a glorious sunset came again. One of them was sitting there miserably, and the other came smoking. This miserable guy looked at him and said, “How come you are smoking? You are breaking the master’s word.”

He said, “No.”

The miserable guy said, “I went and asked him yesterday, and he told me ‘No, you cannot smoke.’”


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“What did you ask him?”

The first man said, “I asked, ‘Can I smoke when I am meditating?’ He said no.”

So the other guy said, “That is the mistake you made. I asked him, ‘Can I meditate when I am smoking?’ and he said yes.”

Simply Sleep!

Right now, you are asking, “Can I meditate when I am asleep?” A whole lot of people on the planet are having problems meditating even when they are awake. For most people, unless they have done enough work upon themselves, if they sit for an hour, they may be meditative for three minutes in that time. Off and on, and off and on, one moment they’re there, then gone somewhere.

Whatever your meditation time, it is better to improve the quality of that time rather than thinking how to extend it into your sleep. Sleep, at least, you should leave uncontaminated by all your ideas. Just sleep in abandon. They say “sleep like a log.” If you cannot sleep like a log, at least sleep like a cat or a dog. Do not try to bring spirituality into your sleeping. Just simply sleep like you are dead.

Sleeping in Abandon

Dead people are stiff in body, but they are in a deep state of abandon. They are not concerned with how they look. So similarly, when you are sleeping, you should not be concerned what the hell is happening. One thing that I find in America is, in the morning when you meet people, a whole lot of people ask, “Did you sleep well?” I never understood this question, because where is the issue? But I see a whole lot of people have an issue. If you try to meditate in your sleep, you will for sure have an issue. So let sleep happen in total abandon. If you do not want to sleep like you are dead, at least sleep like a baby. The US Republican presidential candidate John McCain said something very beautiful about this. After he lost the election against Obama, they asked him, “How are you?” He said, “I am sleeping like a baby. Every two hours I wake up, cry and sleep again.” That was wonderful of the man. In defeat, if you can be humorous, that is good for you.

The Meditative Quality

Meditation is not an act; it is a quality. It is a fragrance that you arrive at and exude in the very way you live. This will not happen because you are doing something about it ­- if you cultivate your body, mind, energies and emotion to a certain level of maturity, then you become meditative. You can become meditative or you can become meditation, but you cannot do meditation. If you bring this quality into you, it will not leave you when you are asleep. Once the quality has become a living process for you, whether body is awake or asleep, meditative process will be on. But if you try to meditate during your sleep, the only thing that will happen is, you will not sleep well.

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How to Use Meditation for Insomnia, Better Sleep

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, you’re not alone. About 35 to 50 percent of adults worldwide regularly experience insomnia symptoms.

For many people, sleeping difficulty is related to stress. That’s because stress can cause anxiety and tension, making it hard to fall asleep. In some cases, stress can simply worsen existing sleep issues.

Meditation may help you sleep better. As a relaxation technique, it can quiet the mind and body while enhancing inner peace. When done before bedtime, meditation may help reduce insomnia and sleep troubles by promoting overall calmness.

Read on to learn about the different types of meditation for sleep and how to meditate for improved sleep. We’ll also look at the benefits and possible risks.

When you meditate, a variety of physiological changes occur. These changes initiate sleep by influencing specific processes in your body.

For example, in a 2015 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed how mindfulness meditation affected 49 adults with moderate sleep issues. The participants were randomly assigned 6 weeks of meditation or sleep hygiene education. At the end of the study, the meditation group experienced fewer insomnia symptoms and less daytime fatigue.

According to the researchers, meditation likely helps in several ways. Sleep problems often stem from stress and worry, but meditation improves your relaxation response. It also improves control of the autonomic nervous system, which reduces how easily you’re awakened.

Meditation may also:

  • increase melatonin (the sleep hormone)
  • increase serotonin (precursor of melatonin)
  • reduce heart rate
  • decrease blood pressure
  • activate parts of the brain that control sleep

Your body experiences similar changes in the early stages of sleep. As a result, meditation can promote sleep by initiating these changes.

Meditation is a simple practice that can be done anywhere, anytime. You don’t need special tools or equipment. In fact, the only thing you need is a few minutes.

However, establishing a meditation routine takes practice. By making time for meditation, you’ll be more likely to enjoy its benefits.

Here are the basic steps of meditation:

  1. Find a quiet area. Sit or lie down, depending on what feels most comfortable. Lying down is preferable at bedtime.
  2. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Inhale and exhale deeply. Focus on your breathing.
  3. If a thought pops up, let it go and refocus on your breathing.

As you try meditation for sleep, be patient with yourself. A meditation practice is just that — a practice. Start by meditating for 3 to 5 minutes before bed. Over time, slowly increase the time to 15 to 20 minutes. It’ll take time to learn how to quiet your mind.

Let’s look at specific meditation techniques that tend to work well for sleep and how to do each one.

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present. It’s done by increasing your awareness of your consciousness, breathing, and body.

If you notice a thought or emotion, simply observe it, then let it pass without judging yourself.

How to do mindfulness meditation

  1. Remove all distractions from your room, including your phone. Lie down in a comfortable position.
  2. Focus on your breathing. Inhale for 10 counts, then hold your breath for 10 counts. Exhale for 10 counts. Repeat five times.
  3. Inhale and tense your body. Pause, relax, and exhale. Repeat five times.
  4. Notice your breath and body. If a body part feels tight, consciously relax it.
  5. When a thought comes up, slowly return your focus to just your breathing.

Guided meditation is when another person leads you through each step of meditation. They may instruct you to breathe or relax your body in a certain way. Or, they might have you visualize images or sounds. This technique is also known as guided imagery.

At bedtime, try listening to a recording of a guided meditation. Here’s where you can find recordings:

  • meditation podcasts
  • meditation apps and websites
  • online streaming services, like Spotify
  • your local library

While the exact steps may vary from source to source, the following step-by-step instructions provide a general overview of how to do guided meditation.

How to do guided meditation

  1. Pick a recording. Dim the light of your phone or device you’re using to listen to the guided meditation.
  2. Start the recording. Lie down in bed and breathe deeply and slowly.
  3. Focus on the person’s voice. If your mind wanders, slowly return your attention to the recording.

In body scan meditation, you focus on each part of your body. The goal is to increase awareness of your physical sensations, including tension and pain. The act of focusing promotes relaxation, which can help you sleep.

How to do body scan meditation

  1. Remove all distractions from your room, including your phone. Lie down in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Notice the weight of your body on the bed.
  3. Focus on your face. Soften your jaw, eyes, and facial muscles.
  4. Move to your neck and shoulders. Relax them.
  5. Continue down your body, moving to your arms and fingers. Continue to your stomach, back, hips, legs, and feet. Notice how each part feels.
  6. If your mind wanders, slowly shift your focus back to your body. If you like, you can repeat in the opposite direction, from your feet to your head.

Better sleep is just one benefit of meditation. When done regularly, meditation can also:

  • improve your mood
  • relieve stress
  • reduce anxiety
  • increase focus
  • improve cognition
  • reduce tobacco cravings
  • improve your pain response
  • control high blood pressure
  • improve heart health
  • reduce inflammation

In general, meditation is a low-risk practice. It’s typically considered safe for most people.

But if you have a history of mental illness, meditation may worsen or trigger unwanted side effects. This may include:

  • increased anxiety
  • depersonalization
  • derealization
  • dizziness
  • intense mood changes

These side effects are rare. However, if you’re concerned about the possibility of these side effects, it’s best to talk to your doctor before trying meditation.

Sleep can be elusive and difficult for many people. Stress and an overactive mind can often stand in the way of getting good quality sleep. Research has shown that meditation can calm the mind and help promote better quality sleep.

And remember, while meditation can improve your sleep, it doesn’t replace good sleep hygiene. This includes following a regular sleep schedule, turning off electronics, keeping your bedroom cool, quiet, and dark, and avoiding caffeine and heavy meals before bed.

How it can help you sleep better at night

External pressures and the added stress of work, family, and other stresses can make it difficult for adults to get a good night's sleep.


Between 35 and 50 percent of adults have difficulty falling asleep at night, and the problem continues to grow. However, sleep meditation offers an affordable solution.

Incorporating meditation into your sleep schedule helps you fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and achieve deeper sleep. Meditation before bed can be helpful for you if you constantly wake up at night or never feel rested. It reduces anxiety, depression and pain, which often interfere with sleep. nine0003

It provides an opportunity to release tension and let go of all anxieties. Whether you're an experienced mindfulness practitioner or a beginner, there are exercises to suit everyone. Keep reading to learn about the various sleep meditations you can use to improve your sleep.


Meditation creates psychological changes that help to relax the mind and body. Good sleep helps fight the fatigue you feel during the day. Sleep problems are often due to stress and anxiety. Practicing mindfulness to calm the mind helps fight insomnia and other sleep disorders. In one study, insomniacs reported reduced time spent in bed awake. nine0003

Meditation before sleep causes physical changes in the body that prepare the person for rest and relaxation. Physiological changes include, but are not limited to, decreased blood pressure, increased levels of serotonin (a precursor to melatonin), slowed heart rate, and increased levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone). These changes are similar to those that occur when preparing the body before bed.


Before you begin your meditation, make sure you are ready for bed and ready to sleep. Be prepared to leave your phone until morning. Meditation before bed helps people create strong evening habits. Try to develop personalized rituals that will promote your continued sleep. Explore what suits you. It could be a cup of tea an hour before bed or reading a book. Here are four tips for relaxing and preparing for meditation:

  1. Start meditating only when you are ready for bed. Before beginning meditation, prepare pillows, blankets, and body to your liking.
  2. Create a calm and comfortable space with silence during preparation by removing all distractions.
  3. Put lye where you are going to sleep
  4. Focus on your breath and release the tension you are holding on to.



Guided meditations are ideal for beginners and require minimal effort. They involve the recorded voice of another person guiding you through the various phases of the meditation. Guided sleep meditations are ideal for beginners and the process is minimally tiring, making them ideal for sleep. Free recordings and videos can be found on YouTube, meditation apps from the app store, and podcasts. Jason Stevenson is a renowned producer of guided sleep meditations on Spotify offering free audio affirmations and healing music. nine0003

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation helps prepare the brain for sleep and maintains sleep quality. Several studies show that mindfulness exercises are effective in treating people suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia. Here are five simple steps to mindfulness meditation:

  1. Pay attention to your mind, breath and body.
  2. Inhale for ten counts, hold your breath for ten counts, and exhale for ten counts (repeat several times). nine0032
  3. With each exhalation, sink deeper into the mattress, relaxing even more.
  4. When your mind wanders, notice the thoughts that arise and let them go.
  5. You will slowly fall asleep.


The Body Scan Meditation can be done on your own or by recording a guided meditation. This exercise allows the body to relax and the mind to calm down, which contributes to a good night's rest. Here are six easy steps to body scan meditation:

  1. Lie down in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes and slow down your breathing, focusing on the present moment.
  3. Notice the toes.
  4. Notice any sensations that arise and breathe through them.
  5. When you are ready, continue moving up the body, spending a few seconds on each part of the body.
  6. If you wish, you can start at the top of your head and work your way down.


Sleep meditation has a positive effect on self-awareness and improves overall well-being. In addition to improving sleep, sleep meditation has a range of benefits including:

  1. Reduce stress and anxiety
  2. Improving concentration and cognitive abilities
  3. Reduces unhealthy cravings
  4. Improves mood
  5. Supports cardiovascular health



Many meditators still feel like falling asleep by the end of a meditation session, so this makes it a great practice to induce sleep.

Begin with the above meditation practices to meditate on sleep. You can also talk to a meditation instructor about how to use meditation specifically to improve sleep. Even a short 25 minute session can make a big difference.

Another good option is the practice of yoga nidra, which puts your mind in a sleep-like state. nine0003


Yes! Meditation is a great way to help yourself fall asleep and stay awake. It calms the mind and allows you to focus on the present moment instead of thinking about the future or the past. Meditation, led by our in-home meditation trainers, also promotes the production of melatonin, a hormone that is produced just before bedtime and supports sleep in general.


No. Meditation in the evening or before going to bed is a great time of day to practice. If you are having difficulty falling or staying asleep, meditation can be helpful.

At the same time, if you use meditation during the day, you don't want to always fall asleep at the end of each session. Thus, it is very important to continue your daily meditation practice, continuing to exit each session with a smooth transition to your normal daily activities.


If you are trying to fall asleep towards the end of your pre-sleep meditation, you just need to meditate for as long as you need to. As a rule, it is from five to 15 minutes. For some people, this may be longer.

Also, at the very beginning of your meditation practice, keep in mind that you may need more time to fall asleep. This is fine. Don't stop there and keep meditating in bed. After a while, you will train your mind and body to induce sleep by the end of your meditation session. nine0003


Most people don't get enough sleep, but some unfortunate people have serious problems every night. Whatever your unique problem with relaxation, mastering the practice of meditation and participating in it regularly can be of great help.

Anahana has highly qualified and experienced meditation instructors ready and willing to help you with your sleep problems. Practice meditation the way you feel most comfortable. We offer in-home meditation, live meditation, and on-demand courses just right for you. There are even special courses for pregnant women and young mothers, the elderly and athletes. nine0003

Please note that this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

Resources for Anaachan Meditation

Meditation Vika

Meditation for chakras

Meditation techniques

Meditation of body scan

Management for removal of anxiety

Meditation sleep

Communication between mind and body

Meditation of gratitude

Meditation for removing anxiety

Managed meditation

Night meditation

Self -knowledge

Transcendental meditation

Meditation of visualization

Blogs on meditation

How Meditation helps to cope with the stress

How meditation works

Meditation music

Gifts for meditation

Benefits of meditation

What is meditation?

What is awareness?

Applications for meditation

Meditation for beginners


3 Methods of meditation to improve sleep

Self -regulation of respiration as an auxiliary method for treating insomnia - PMC

Is it possible to meditate in a dream?

Is it possible to meditate in your sleep? Sadhguru explains that if you try to bring spirituality into your sleep, then all you get is poor quality rest. Sadhguru emphasizes that meditation is not something you can do, but if you bring this quality into your life, then meditativeness will not leave you either in sleep or during wakefulness. nine0003

ArticleMay 23, 2019

Question: Sadhguru, how can we become meditative when we sleep?

Sadhguru: Do you mean to multitask your meditation? Do you want to use meditation to sleep or use sleep to meditate? What are you asking: how to meditate while you sleep, or how to sleep while you meditate?

The right question

There is a wonderful story that happened to Ibrahim, a Sufi Master. He had many students, and one day two young men met at his retreat. The sun was setting, and before them was a splendid sunset, but they both sat there miserable.

They suffered because of their addiction to smoking. And they discussed among themselves: “Why don't we just go to the teacher and ask if we can smoke? Who knows? He's pretty eccentric. He can say good, or even supply us with something stronger than ordinary tobacco. nine0003

So they decided to approach him separately and ask. The next day there was again a magnificent sunset. One of them sat looking unhappy, while the other approached him with a cigarette in his mouth. The unfortunate guy saw him and asked: “How so? Do you smoke? You are violating the instruction of the Master.”

He answered: "No."

The sufferer said: “Yesterday I went up to him and asked him, and he answered: “No, you can’t.”

"What did you ask him?"

The first student said, "I asked him, 'Is it permissible to smoke while meditating?' He said, "No!" nine0003

Another said, “That's your mistake! I asked him, "Can I meditate when I smoke?" and he said, "Yes!"

Just sleep!

Now you are asking, "Can I meditate when I sleep?" Many people on the planet have difficulty meditating even when they are awake. For most people (except when they have done enough work on themselves), if they sit for an hour, they are probably meditative for about 3 minutes during that time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, at one moment they are there, at another moment they are already somewhere else. nine0003

Don't try to bring spirituality into your sleep. Just sleep like the dead.

No matter how much time you spend in meditation, it is more important to improve the quality of this period of time than to think about how to prolong it in sleep. At least don't pollute your sleep with your ideas. Just sleep in complete oblivion. There is an expression: "sleep like a log." If you can't sleep like a log, at least sleep like a cat or a dog. Don't try to bring spirituality into your sleep. Just sleep like the dead. nine0003

Sleep in oblivion

The dead have a stiff body, but they are in deep oblivion. They don't care what they look like. In the same way, when you are sleeping, whatever happens, you should not worry about it. I noticed one thing here in America. In the morning, when you meet someone, almost everyone asks: “Did you sleep well?” I never understood this question: what exactly is the problem? But I see that for many the problem exists.

If you try to meditate while you sleep, you will definitely have a problem. Let sleep happen in complete oblivion. If you don't want to sleep like the dead, at least sleep like a baby. In the US, Republican presidential candidate John McCain said it very well. After he lost the election to Obama, he was asked: "How do you feel?" He replied, “I sleep like a baby. Every 2 hours I wake up, cry and go back to sleep.” The man was wonderful. If you can keep a sense of humor even after defeat, that's good. nine0003

Meditativeness as a quality

You can become meditative or you can become a meditation but you cannot practice

Meditation is not an action, it is a quality. It is a fragrance that you acquire and spread around you with your very life. It won't happen because you are doing something about it. If you develop your body, mind, energies and emotions to a certain level of maturity, then you will become meditative.

Learn more