I sleep the hours which are said to be needed, but I still feel sleepy. I've been drinking coffee recently to eliminate grogginess, and it does work for me. However, I was wondering if there are other methods of eliminating grogginess?

  • It may be health issue for some people. I have low blood pressure. So I used to feel sleepy. Drinking a cup of coffee helps me.
    – Ethel Wai
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 9:42

6 Answers 6


Buddha gave his disciple Moggallana a sequence of advice on how to overcome drowsiness during meditation. Moggallana was however continuously meditating for 7 days without sleep when he received this advice.

  1. Well then, Moggallana, whatever perception you have in mind when drowsiness descends on you, don't attend to that perception, don't pursue it. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness

  2. But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then recall to your awareness the Dhamma as you have heard & memorized it, re-examine it & ponder it over in your mind. It's possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

  3. [..] then repeat aloud in detail the Dhamma as you have heard & memorized it. [..]

  4. [..] then pull both your earlobes and rub your limbs with your hands. [..]

  5. [..] then get up from your seat and, after washing your eyes out with water, look around in all directions and upward to the major stars & constellations. [..]

  6. [..] then attend to the perception of light, resolve on the perception of daytime, [dwelling] by night as by day, and by day as by night. By means of an awareness thus open & unhampered, develop a brightened mind. [..]

  7. [..] then — percipient of what lies in front & behind — set a distance to meditate walking back & forth, your senses inwardly immersed, your mind not straying outwards. [..]

But if by doing this you don't shake off your drowsiness, then — reclining on your right side — take up the lion's posture, one foot placed on top of the other, mindful, alert, with your mind set on getting up. As soon as you wake up, get up quickly, with the thought, 'I won't stay indulging in the pleasure of lying down, the pleasure of reclining, the pleasure of drowsiness.' That is how you should train yourself.

AN 7.58

  • 1
    I wanted to know how you know he had been meditating for 7 days? I checked the sutta out (not too deeply) and didn't find it. Thanks.
    – DLV
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 2:46
  • 1
    @David I've heard it many times in dhamma talks by monks. This document says that according to the Anguttara Commentary, he had been walking up and down vigorously in meditation for seven days, so when he sat down for his meditation, drowsiness overcame him."
    – dmsp
    Commented Nov 8, 2014 at 7:59

Actually Buddha called that the Lazyness. It is a one major factor that prevent us from getting in to the path of Nirvana.

  • Don't eat too much, if you eat until you get the feeling it is full that's wrong.
  • In order to stay alert drink more water, actually a major factor of being APHOO
  • Keep a good hi-gene that will make you good
  • Also maintain a posture, so the body knows what mood are you in. ex: If you study in bed body thinks that posture is for sleep so it will release those enzymes
  • Wake up in the morning for India that time is 3 - 6 because it is called the Brahma moorthi that will energize you.
  • There are many things like what to eat and what not to do. It is all mentioned in Vinayapitaka.(a study of behaviors)

These are the major facts please read the above pitaka for more information


Great tips by the Buddha. To supplemement this I offer a esoteric Buddhist technique taught by Master Huai-Chin Nan: focus at your navel point and imagine a fine bright red point as bright as you can. Imagine this growing brighter and brighter, finer and finer. If this doesn't wake you up, gradually move this point up! Move this point down, if you have TOO much energy.

This technique works best after having done the Buddhist contemplations in an above answer.

Sleep is a subject I have studied for over 15 years very deeply. There is much to be said about it including: affirmations, lucid dreaming as cultivation, self-hypnosis to sleep BETTER or sleep faster, dream interpretation, circadian rhythm timings, REM timings... so many deep deep topics for you to learn more about!

Nonetheless, basic guidelines about rest are important. We should get ample rest before meditating. Master Nan said he would sleep for DAYS at a time and then when he's had enough, he would do a non-stop retreat without sleep for the next week. Strange I think, but I'm just reporting it for reporting sake.

Another thing you should know is that the more we stress about the world and the more worldly things we do (things that involve lust, greed, ignorance) I notice the more sleep-need is generated.

Also, I have experimented with many different polyphasic sleep styles, I think it is better to learn how to rest every hour through five minute closed eyes and stretching breaks.

As much as possible you should design your life to feel good always especially your diet. This is a lifelong journey and for nutritional self-analysis read Mark Hyman's book "The Ultramind Solution." It definitely added to my nutritional understandings. Also learn about fasting, read "Rational Fasting."

If there's anything you take away from this: the best way to overcome torpor is to figure a lifestyle out where you don't have it in the first place (and are still getting your life objectives accomplished).


You can try focusing primarily on your in-breath during your meditation. Inhalation activates your sympathetic nervous system (which is also activated when you're in flight or fight mode). Every time you inhale, there is a subtle increase in energy. Your body is oxygenated and your heart beats a bit faster. At the same time, your mind also becomes more alert and energetic on the in-breath. So if you meditate with an emphasis on your in-breath , you will find yourself becoming more energised.

Just try it for yourself and see what happens.


Try using control breathing technique by sitting down in the quiet place, focus on breathing in and out at the tip of the nose while closing your eyes (visualize the air going in and out). This may help you with focusing your mind to stay alert while clearing your senses on the surrounding, which can be distracting.

If your diet is already well controlled and you have enough sleep, you may have sleep apnea condition.


Coffee will temporarily give you a mind and energy boost but it also has the negative effect of giving you a crash (hence the reason for more coffee). I used to own a cafe and I would drink up to 5-6 short blacks a day as I would always feel tired and drowsy. A good friend of mine challenged me to give up coffee for a month and I could not believe how much energy I had after about 2-3 days. For about 2 days I did have headaches which was the caffeine leaving my system but after that I was fine. I still drink coffee only one a day and I also meditate daily (Anapana meditation or mindfulness meditation) and this has also given me a lot more energy. Of course you will always have days where nothing can eliminate drowsiness but for the most part all good.


  • Isn't green tea much more commonly used by monks and for mediation?
    – Shon
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 22:37

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