When it comes to meditation, there are generally two recommended times to practice: in the morning or in the evening. However, there are other factors beyond just the time of day that should be considered when deciding when to meditate.
It’s likely that you’ve probably questioned ‘when is the best time to meditate?’, especially if you’re a beginner! So, in this article, we’ve got you covered.
The optimal time for meditation varies from person to person, depending on your schedule and lifestyle. Therefore, it is recommended to experiment with different times to see what works best for you.
For the most part, this article is in reference to sitting meditation, except for the section Meditating On The Go.
In this article, we will outline the best time to meditate based on various factors, including:
- What Do We Mean By A ‘Successful’ Meditation?
- Meditating In The Morning
- Meditating In The Evening
- Meditating Before Food
- Meditating When You Are Alert
- Meditating On The Go
What makes a ‘successful’ meditation?
In this article, we will delve into the reasons why we believe these two times, and the supporting factors for each, provide the ideal conditions for meditation.
In order to have a successful meditation session, it is important to have a clear understanding of what success means in this context.
Although the success of meditation may seem abstract, there are practical outcomes that we can strive for, such as:
- Achieving peace of mind
- Strengthening the connection between our mind and body
- Gaining spiritual insight
- Gaining greater control over our thoughts and mind
To achieve these outcomes, consistency in meditation practice is key. It is important to meditate as much as possible to generate the greatest impact.
However, beyond just the frequency of practice, paying attention to the best time to meditate can greatly enhance your overall meditation experience.
Meditating In The Morning
If you’re looking to build meditation into your routine, morning time is certainly one of the best times to meditate.
Starting the day right by checking in with yourself, building an early morning habit, and there just being potentially less distractions are just a few of the benefits of incorporating a regular waking meditation into your morning routine.For those who are already early risers, or those with motivation to become early risers, a consistent morning meditation is an extremely useful way to start the day, setting the tone for a fruitful day.
For me, meditation, or any self-care practice in the morning, makes me feel positive about myself and the day ahead. It creates a sense of control, as well as provides all the proven benefits of reducing anxiety and increasing awareness.
Importantly, there isn’t any set agenda for your commitment, so you could start with just 10 minutes and build from there if you’re looking to build the habit.
Benefits Of Meditating In The Morning
#1: Sets The Tone For The Day
Meditating in the morning can give you a foundation of calm and mindfulness that will help with the ardor of the day ahead.
By taking this time, you can give yourself better chances to keep your mind clear and react well throughout the day to any challenges that crop up.
#2: Less Distractions
In the morning time, the world is just waking up. It could be less noisy in your vicinity, and less distractions.
Finding the time in the morning before the distractions of your daily tasks also means you have the best opportunity to sit for however long you want to in peace to meditate.
This means it will be easier to focus, and give you better chances at building a consistent routine.
#3: Establishing A Consistent Routine
Habits breed habits, and if you’re sticking to even just 10 minutes of meditation every morning, you could benefit from establishing a daily routine of mindfulness and awareness.
Morning time is a perfect time to meditate as you have more chance of being consistent if it’s the very first task you have to do, providing a reliable and grounding anchor for your daily schedule.
#4: Creates Awareness
Meditating in the morning can help increase your focus and awareness throughout the day.
By committing to starting the day with a clear and attentive mind, you can benefit by being more present and productive in your daily tasks and goals.
Being aware of the reality within, and the reality of the environment around you is key to enjoying a peaceful life. Meditating in the morning gives you the best chance of actualizing this each day.
Meditating In The Evening
Improving the quality of your sleep, reducing stress, calming anxiety, and letting go of negative thoughts are just a few of the benefits of incorporating a regular bedtime meditation practice into your evening routine.
For those with a hectic schedule, practicing meditation in the evening is an excellent way to wind down and rejuvenate the body and mind. This practice is especially beneficial if you’re unable to meditate during the morning or afternoon due to work or personal responsibilities.
Additionally, practicing meditation before bedtime can help those who struggle with insomnia fall asleep faster and experience more restful sleep.
If you’re seeking a way to end your day joyfully while improving your overall health and well-being, consider incorporating a relaxing meditation practice into your nightly routine.
With some simple techniques and a commitment to consistency, you can transform your evening ritual into a peaceful and rejuvenating experience.
Benefits Of Meditating In The Evening
#1: Relaxation After A Long Day
Meditation can be an effective means to unwind after a tiring day.
By practicing meditation regularly, your brain learns to associate this calming practice with the onset of rest, making it a simple way to signal to both your mind and body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for relaxation.
Depending on your daily schedule and commitments to stressors like work, we can end up fairly stimulated and anxious at the end of the day.
#2: When Your Mind Is Most Active
This is of course subjective, but I find that my mind is most alert and ready to go right before bed and in the evening. As if it’s taken all day to get going at full operating speed.
For this reason, this time is when I find my mind most malleable to the desired effects of meditation.
I found this to be the case inside meditation retreats, and outside in the real world. However, it still was day by day. I sometimes felt most alert, and sometimes felt sleepy so it really depends on how the day has gone.
#3: To Help Aid Sleep
Researchers have observed that meditation induces a range of physiological changes that positively impact sleep quality.
Some changes promote relaxation and facilitate falling asleep, while others regulate the autonomic nervous system to minimize the likelihood of waking up easily.
Furthermore, meditation increases the production of serotonin and melatonin, both associated with sleep. The practice also activates specific regions of the brain that govern sleep and reduces bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
Other Factors For The Best Time To Meditate
In addition to personal preference, and a set time of day, there are several other factors that can impact the best time to meditate. While the best time to meditate may vary depending on the individual, it is not solely determined by personal preference.
Other factors such as stress levels, mental alertness, daily routines and schedules, and whether or not one has a full stomach also play a role in determining the optimal time for meditation.
Think again, what do you want to meditate for? Then consider the below factors:
Meditating Before Food
Another factor to consider is how much food you have in your system.
In conjunction with either a morning meditation session or an evening meditation session, we recommend meditating before food, or with a less-than-full stomach.
Depending on what type of meditation you do, you will be likely observing bodily sensations, or just looking to create a sense of stillness or mindfulness.
Food digesting in your system will be both a physiological and mental distraction, skewering your various bodily systems. This doesn’t mean to not eat or sit in any discomfort but to just be mindful so you can remove the distraction of a full stomach.
Therefore meditating before breakfast, before dinner, or a good couple of hours after dinner would be a really beneficial condition for your meditation!
Meditating When You Are Alert
Another important factor to consider when the best time to meditate is when your mind is most active or alert.
As mentioned in the Benefits of Meditating in the Evening part of the article, I find that my mind is most active during this time, so I tend to meditate then. For you, consider when you are most mentally alert and build your meditation routine around that time.
Meditating On The Go
For the most part, this article has been in reference to traditional sitting meditation.
However, a wider perspective on meditation is just being wholly present and mindful of the moment, and not falling prey to wandering thought trails.
With this in mind, if you have a hobby that you love, you may already be intuitively meditating when you engage in that hobby.
For example, if you enjoy running and find that it has meditative qualities, try paying closer attention to the activity with mindful awareness the next time you run. See if you can enjoy meditating on the go while running!
Ultimately, it’s really up to you and your personal preference. We hope that this article has been useful to help figure out when is the best time to meditate for you!
If you’d like to read more on meditation, why not check out these other articles: