Why You Sometimes Fall Asleep While Meditating | Emily Fletcher

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I will take over the interview. Like, hi everyone, I am Vishen Lakhiani. Welcome to Mindvalley. Did I fall asleep? I love it. No. You weren’t sleeping. I think you were transcending. Yeah. That was awesome. So did you ask us to wake up? I did. Ok. That’s awesome. I am gonna call that a big success. That’s maybe my favourite thing that’s ever happened during an interview. That was amazing. Let’s keep all of that. No for real, it’s so good. It’s good. It’s perfect. It’s perfect, It’s perfect. It really is perfect. It’s funny. I thought were kind of like doing it on purpose. Yeah, it’s great. So, obviously I’m embarrassed there. So, I fell asleep. And even me who meditates like all the time. I fell asleep on that one. No, but that honestly, so let’s talk about this, okay because this is big because lot of people think, especially when they start this style of meditation, they think that they’re falling asleep. But actually, what you were falling into is that fourth state of consciousness, where the right and left hemispheres of the brain are functioning in unison. There’s an alertness but your body is getting very deep rest. There’s no way you fell sleep in the three minutes that your eyes were closed. And when watching, I’d actually be able to hear, if you were to fall asleep your breathing would have changed and it would have gone. But that didn’t happen. Your breathing was still very shallow which means that your mind was alert because, again, if we go back 10,000 years ago, nature won’t let you be in blackout sleep state and resting as deeply as you were just then, physically at the same time because you’d be an evolutionary liability. Basically, when we’re sleeping brain is chilling so body has to be on guard. When we’re meditating, body is chilling, brain is on guard. So, what was happening right there is that you were actually quite alert but your body was getting deep rest, which is beautiful. And probably, just because you are used to meditating for 30 minutes, that was just the tip of the iceberg for you. You know, you were ready to like dive in and yet, I’m doing this for people who are starting a meditation practice so it’s a bit more abbreviated. But I actually think this is such a beautiful happy accident because I think so many people are going to learn. Yeah, because falling asleep is one of the biggest challenges that people have, so if people are falling asleep, then you’re saying it is ok. Well, I think what I’m saying is that in the beginning of a meditation practice, people think that they’re falling asleep, but what’s actually happening is that they are falling into this transcendence where there’s this fourth state of consciousness. So, the thing to know here is that every time the brain transitions between waking and sleeping, you move through a 30-second window of transcendence that can feel very much like sleep. So in the beginning, yes, give yourself feel full permission to just fall into that feeling and worst-case scenario, you take a five-minute little power nap and then you feel better afterwards.

 

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