One question that gets asked a lot is: what is the best time of day for meditation?
I know you probably want a straightforward answer, but like everything in life, there is no one size fits all approach.
The time of day you choose to meditate depends upon your goals for meditating in the first place and what you’re trying to get out of your practice.
Below I go into a few of the most common times of day to meditate, and why some times are better than others.
If you’ve been struggling with your meditation practice (or can’t simply find the time), then you’ll want to check this out.
Meditating in the Morning
The morning can be one of the best times of day to meditate. It’s usually one of the most stress-free times of the day. And you usually have a little more control of your time, than later times in the day.
Plus, your morning routine tends to set the tone for how your day unfolds. Imagine injecting a little peace into your life with a little morning meditation. If you usually wake up feeling rushed and thinking about the day, then even doing something as simple as deep breathing can be effective.
When you’re in the shower a take few minutes to breathe deep and pay attention to your breath. Or, wake up ten minutes earlier and use that time for meditation.
The morning hours are best if you’re trying to make meditation a habit in your life. Wake up. Meditate. Get on with your day.
Personally, I’ve never been much of a morning meditator. I used to force myself to wake with with sun and meditate for an hour a day. However, I felt more stress and judgment about ‘having’ to meditate at this time, and it started to outweigh the benefits of the practice.
Now, I do some conscious breathing in the morning after I brush my teeth, and spend a longer time in meditation at night, as a way to unwind and process the day.
Can You Meditate in the Afternoon?
Meditating in the afternoon can be a great time to de-stress from any tension that might have built up during the day. If you’re at lunch break on work, it can be a great time to give yourself a reset and re-charge time to get through the rest of the day.
All it takes is five-minutes to practice meditation. Use the simple practice mentioned on this page as a tool to de-stress from your workday.
A lot of us tend to hit peak levels of wakefulness during the afternoon hours, by adding a splash of meditation, we’ll be able to use this time more effectively.
Yes, you can meditate in the afternoon. But, often afternoon meditations should be used in more a tool-like fashion to reduce stress and help you power through a day of work.
What About Meditating Before Bedtime?
Nighttime can be a great time to meditate, but you need to be strategic about when you’re practicing. For instance, you can take a nice meditation break after the work-day to help separate your workday from the rest of your life.
It’ll help you leave anything that might have happened behind and truly enjoy the rest of your day.
However, when you put meditation off until later in the day it can be easy to skip it, and push it off until tomorrow. So, if you are trying to settle into a nighttime meditation habit, then make sure you have a trigger that helps you stick to it.
For example, you could do a ten-minute meditation in your car once you finish work, or you could set aside 20 minutes as soon as you walk in the front-door. Night time holds more variables and it’s easier to stray from your practice. But, it can be a great way to relieve the stress of the day.
I’m a big fan of nighttime meditation. As I find myself winding down for the day I set aside a 20-minute window to meditate. I’m not yet sleepy and I don’t do it laying down (you’ll see why below), but it helps me to get a better night’s sleep and prepare myself for tomorrow.
Try to avoiding meditating right before you go to bed.
You can use certain relaxation techniques to help yourself fall asleep faster. But, meditation isn’t a tool for helping us fall asleep. It’s a way to become more awake, stress-free, and resilient in our waking life.
Is There a Best Time of Day to Meditate?
The time of day you choose to meditate depends upon what works for you. Meditation shouldn’t take away from your life, it should add to it.
Are you a morning person? Then experiment with a simple practice in the morning.
Do you hate mornings are prefer to stay up late? Then use the quiet of the nighttime hours to sink into a deep meditation. However, breathing while you fall asleep doesn’t count as meditation, although it is an incredible relaxation tool.
When you meditate isn’t as important as actually doing it. Pick a time and commit to it. And remember, consistency should be what you’re aiming for.
Image via Veri Ivanova