by Friends of Godwin
I work with people who suffer from insomnia. It is interesting that in the teaching on loving-kindness the Buddha speaks of eleven benefits of meditation on loving-kindness and three of them are related to sleep. So with loving-kindness you sleep peacefully, you wake up peacefully, and you don’t have unpleasant dreams, nightmares and so on. So when I meet people who suffer from insomnia what I tell them is, before they fall asleep to try to practise loving-kindness, and I have found that this generally helps in working with insomnia.
When you wake up and you find that you have not had enough sleep and yet you really want to meditate, what can be attempted is not to do sitting meditation straight away, but maybe do walking meditation or yoga. This is the importance of yoga, some physical exercises where you try to wake up physically and mentally with such exercises.
And maybe another suggestion is to take a very cold shower. This will also help you to wake up physically and mentally. And then try to sit with your eyes open.