1. He asked the monk to change his posture. If the monk was doing seated meditation, the Buddha suggested he stand or do a walking meditation.
2. If that didn't work, he recommended the monk rub his earlobes to stimulate the body.
3. Failing that, the Buddha advised the monk to go outside and look at the stars to stimulate the mind.
4. If there was still no success, he suggested the monk think of an inspiring Buddhist teaching to stimulate energy and enthusiasm.
5. Trying one more time, the Buddha finally suggested the monk imagine a very bright light appearing before him. This was to stimulate the eyes.
Later the Buddha was asked by other monks why he followed such an elaborate method to help a monk remain awake during meditation. The Buddha explained he was trying to assess if the monk's meditation sleepiness was psychological or physical. If, after going through all the steps the monk still remained sleepy, the Buddha advised the monk to simply sleep and allow his body to rest.