Special Topics

Q&As About Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

You have tried various methods such as bathing, aromatherapy, massage, drinking a cup of hot milk… but you still can't sleep well or sufficiently. What can you do? Let the Dharma masters of Dharma Drum Mountain Chan Meditation Hall teach you how to adjust your body and mind for a good sleep!

Q1: I have tried various methods, but I still can't fall asleep. What can I do?
1. Get up to meditate if you can't fall asleep. When meditating, you need just to sit upright and don't think about anything.
2. Lie down on your back, lift both feet up, and rub the soles of your feet against each other 100 times. Repeat for a total of 3-5 cycles, thereby warming up your peripheral nerves.
3. Lie down on your right side, relax your whole body, and you will gradually fall asleep.

Q2: I often wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling asleep again. What can I do?
1. Don't go back to sleep; instead, get up and do walking meditation, or perform the Eight-Form Moving Meditation or some stretching exercises to relax your body.
2. Lie down on your back without a pillow and rest in savasana (corpse) pose.
3. It's good if you fall asleep, but it's okay even if you don't. Tell yourself: lying in bed is a form of resting.

Q3: I feel like I didn't sleep enough when I wake up, and I'm sleepy and tired. What can I do?
1. Don't rush to get up.
2. Rest in savasana pose on your bed and relax; don't think about anything in particular.
3. Get up; whether you slept well or not, it's already in the past. Experience your life with a relaxed mood, cheer up from this moment on, and welcome your brand new 24 hours.

Q4: Can meditation replace sleep?
1. No, meditation cannot replace sleep.
2. Sleep is essential to eye health, and most people still need to sleep.
3. "Eat when you should eat, sleep when you should sleep" is the best attitude for both practice and life in general.

Q5: Do Chan practitioners also have jet lag? How to get over it?
1. Of course they have jet lag!
2. When traveling or working around the world, you can use the  time between destinations to practice full-body relaxation on the chair, perform the Eight-Form Moving Meditation, or do some stretching exercises to keep your body and mind relaxed at all times.
3. Follow the local time schedule, and you can get over the jet lag within three days.

Extended Reading:

Sleep is for Rest and Practice

Nothing to worry about, learn from Buddha's good sleep

​Practicing Sleeping Meditation to Have a Good Night's Sleep

Q&As About Getting a Good Night's Sleep

Resource: Issue 388 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Photos: Issue 388 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation (Photos painted by 劉建志)
Translation: 麗萍
Editing: Keith Brown, YKL