For beginners or even intermediate meditators, questions like “When’s the best time to meditate?” are common particularly for people who want to get out from their practice the most that they can. Indeed, many people get stuck on how, but also when to start meditating. And although people tend to develop their own preferred ways to meditate, there are some helpful pointers to start with.

There is a certain mindset to approaching meditation, as well as simple techniques to get you started on your journey to mindfulness. A welcoming attitude, as neutral as possible, is at the core of the meditative state, and it will be cultivated with time as you practice. For more about what is meditation and how to get started, please read our article “Meditation Techniques For Beginners“. But what about the ideal times of day to practice meditation?

Is There A Best Time Of Day To Meditate?

at which time meditation is most beneficial

More and more people are practising meditation and incorporating it into their daily routines. It’s now recommended by doctors and health professionals to aid with several conditions including combatting stress, easing anxiety and helping the fight against depression. It also allows you to develop a deep focus and obtain the goals you’ve set for yourself.

However, many practitioners are looking for the best time to meditate to get the most out of it. So, is there really an optimal time for meditation?

Many people tout the benefits of morning meditation. For instance, Deepak Chopra says that one of the best times of day to meditate is the early morning, just after a restful night’s sleep. This way you are using mindfulness meditation to energise yourself. Whereas when we meditate after a long day you could be exhausted and meditation might make you sleepier. Nonetheless, the best time of day to meditate varies from person to person and depends on your schedule and daily routines.

The first thing to consider is that it is best to meditate on an empty stomach. The mechanism of digestion is energy-consuming and mobilises the whole body-mind, which can lead to possible drowsiness — consequently, the potential time slots to meditate become more evident.

Below are our recommendations for some good times of day to consider.

Early In The Morning – Just After You Wake Up

early morning

It is often said that the best time of day for meditation is the first hour after you wake up in the morning, before having breakfast so as not to be burdened by digestion.

Just after you wake up, your body and mind are rested, fresh and alert. You are less at risk of drowsiness, and you have the full day ahead of you. In fact, a monk will tell you that the perfect time to meditate is 3 AM, which is also called “Brahma Muhurta” or “God’s Hour”. But do not worry; your usual waking time is just as acceptable!

The advantages of meditating at this time of day are numerous:

  • The mind is still in the transition phase from passive to active. So meditation will help you kickstart your day in the right direction.
  • The mind is not stirred by negative energy which might be accumulated by daily activities.
  • You get to experience a higher state of calm and peace first thing in the morning. And consequently, this meditative state will accompany you longer and most saliently throughout your day.

You might find that beginning your day with meditation directly after you wake up is challenging at first. For those who get up early and have difficulty getting out of the lethargic state, the trick is to start by taking a shower. Remember that trying to introduce big changes into your daily morning routine overnight will likely fail.

Change should be introduced gradually, and habits are formed in incremental, small pieces. Once the practice is well established, it will be easier to experience the irreplaceable joy to wake up in the morning and beginning your day with calmness and mindfulness.

In The Afternoon

Afternoon meditation

Afternoon meditation also has its virtues. It allows you to reconnect with your natural, calm state of mind, and recharge your batteries mid-way through the day.

Whether you are at home or work, stop for a few moments to breathe, observe your surroundings without judgment, and bring awareness to what’s going on in the present moment. Reestablish the body-mind connexion and experience the calmness that comes with it.

In any case, Mid-day meditation is ideal for a break that will inevitably have a positive impact on you and your work. You do not have to meditate just to deal with the stress or pressure of the job; the main goal is to check back with your state of mind and boost your awareness. Even if you feel good, meditating in the middle of the day can increase the feeling of well-being and help you get rid of any grogginess, even in the office or during your lunch break!

These short mindfulness meditation sessions could be done anywhere, and whenever you feel that you need to bring your energy and awareness back into balance.

Early In The Evening

early evening meditation

After work meditation is a perfect idea to relieve any tension or negative energy that builds up during a hard work day. Post-work meditation will make sure that you don’t bring all the stress of work home with you. It creates a healthy boundary between your work and personal life, so you can have quality time for the rest of your day either with your loved ones or pursuing your hobbies.

Before Going To Sleep At Night

at night before bed meditation

Practising meditation before going to bed helps you evacuate tensions accumulated during the day and prepare for a restful and more restorative sleep. As in the morning, this time of day is generally calmer, with quiet ambient noises, morethan you can find in the middle of the day.

We recommend for those who prefer to meditate at this quiet time of day to leave enough time between your meditation session and going to bed so that the mind does not associate meditation with sleep. Otherwise, you may get sleepy every time as soon as you begin to meditate.

Practicing meditation before bedtime also allows you to prepare to sleep well, calming the mind. Again, it is better to meditate before eating, or 2 to 3 hours after dinner.

But What Is The Best Time Of Day For You To Meditate?

Meditating in the morning (First hour after waking up) is regarded as the ideal time of day for meditation. But remember this: The best time to meditate is whatever time you can actually do it.

It could be any time of day (to meditate before going to sleep, please keep in mind the points raised above) and whenever you feel stress.

Think about taking 5 minutes to meditate whenever you feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious during the day. Five minutes may not seem much, but it works wonders to recalibrate your state of mind and reorganising the scattered pieces of mind. It will also help you to see clearly and focus on the big picture which makes it easier to tackle any problem you could encounter during the day.

To live in full consciousness is a way of being in the moment, this present moment which is there. Practising meditation is just “a yoga of the mind”, a way of training ourselves to be genuinely there, attentive, available. The more you practice meditation, the more this way of being called mindfulness will spread out to every moment of your life.

The most important thing is to find what suits you best so that there is no sense of duty or obligation. To be able to meditate where you can, when you can.

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