Sadhguru, when I do sadhana, I am finding myself dozing off. I thought this was due to tiredness, but whenever I close my eyes and meditate, I fall asleep. How can I stay awake?
First, let us understand what sleep is about. If sleep is invading your life anytime of the day, you must first check your basic health and see if there is something wrong with your system. When you are physically unwell, you will tend to sleep much more than normal – the body wants to rest.
The second thing is the food that you eat. Consuming at least a certain amount of vegetarian material, particularly in uncooked condition, is very important for your general wellbeing. When you cook food, a large volume of prana is destroyed. That is one of the reasons why a certain amount of lethargy settles into the body. If you just eat a certain amount of live food, apart from many other benefits, one thing that will immediately happen is your sleep quota will go down dramatically.
Essentially, your alertness depends on how keenly you manage your energies. If you want to meditate, your alertness must be not of the mind alone, but of your very energy. To assist this, generally, for people who are on the yogic path, it is said that you should eat only twenty-four mouthfuls, and you must chew every mouthful at least twenty-four times. Now your food will be pre-digested in your mouth before it goes in, and it will not cause dullness.
If you do this during your evening meal and then sleep in the night, you will easily wake up at three-thirty in the morning, and you can meditate. In the yogic systems, this time is called the Brahma Muhurtam. It is an ideal time to wake up, because at that time, there is an extra support from nature itself for your sadhana. If you take a bath and keep your hair wet, you will easily stay awake and alert through your sadhana until eight o’clock. If you eat just twenty-four morsels in your morning meal, you will definitely not feel sleepy until dinnertime. After one-and-a- half to two hours, you will be hungry, and that is the best way to be. Just because the stomach is empty, you do not have to put food. Just drink water and you will stay alert and energetic throughout the day. Your system will learn to use the food you have eaten well, rather than simply wasting it. Economically and ecologically it is good for the world, and good for your health – you may never fall sick if you eat like this.