When is the best time of the day to meditate? It’s really up to you

Before we start – I am no ‘guru’ nor a spiritual expert. I just enjoy Meditation and Yoga and wanted to start a blog from my perspective of trying to create a daily routine that allows me a glimpse of the stillness they can bring. I try to link out to as many reputable sources within these posts as I can, some of these external links enable me to earn a commission which helps towards the running of the blog.

The uniqueness of meditation is that it can help us to recognize and quiet the unconscious state our minds often slip into. The constant mind chatter and ongoing thoughts that we not only often fail to recognize but when we do notice them, we believe that this noise is who we really are.

For any one with an experience of meditation, you will know this doesn’t have to be the case and in this post I look at the best time for meditation to help you break through this noise and experience the stillness that lies within us all.

The beauty of such a personal practice is that the best time to meditate is going to depend very much on your daily routine.

When you have the time available in your day to day life to sit for a moment as well as when you feel alert enough to ensure you’re getting the most out of meditation as possible is vital.

For me personally meditation in the morning is the perfect way to start a day. I would love to say this is how I start every day but that’s just no the case. Often life gets in the way and before I know it its late afternoon and I’ve still not had time to fit in my meditation practice.

Remember that’s absolutely fine too, many people can become frustrated when their meditation time changes from day to day. Although I believe creating a habit is easier with a set routine, if you’re new to meditation the practice of sitting every day is more important then the time of day that you meditate.

As a spiritual experience that connects us to our inner-self, mediation is unique for each and every one of us. However, with many other commitments including work and family duties, we may find it difficult to choose the appropriate time to meditate. If this the case for you we have put together a quick guide on finding the best time to meditate for you.

morning meditation

Best Time of Day to Meditate: A Comparison

Having laid out my thoughts relating to your meditation practice and the time of day to sit and be still, there are beliefs around how certain times of day can enhance or alter your practice.

The issue is you could ask five different ‘gurus’ and get five different answers as to what the best time to meditate is throughout the day. First, it is important to understand the significance of meditating at different times during the day which can help you to form your own practice.

Morning (4 am-7 am)

Yogis prefer Meditating around 4 am; however, to some, rising at that time may still be a pipe dream, if this is the case for you, you can meditate at any time between 4 am to 7 am. Morning sessions are preferred because of the following reasons:

Early mornings keep us fresh as we wake after a good night’s sleep and our mind is free from distractions.

It doesn’t take long for unconscious thinking to begin but if you can meditate as soon as you rise you may see better results. Also, another reason why I think the early mornings are a great time to meditate is that the world is quiet, meaning the atmosphere is perfect for us to experience inner peace. This means you don’t have to sit for hours to see ‘results’ you may be able to tap into your inner calm in a matter of minutes.

Once the day starts, we use our thinking to solve our problems and begin to work out our priorities for the day. By meditating as soon as you wake up, you can prioritize yourself first, utilize any unconsumed energy in meditation, and then give attention to the worldly matters.

Another reason why the morning is the best time of date to meditate is that meditation is usually preferred on an empty stomach. This is because after eating our body is active in digestion making these bodily motions harder to achieve inner peace. However, if you do like to eat as soon as you wake up it is recommended to leave a gap of at least one hour for digestion.

Most importantly meditation leads us towards positivity and this is the best way to start our day. We are building trust with the universe, placing meditation first above any other activities we may have planned that day. Devoting our time to this beautiful universe is time well spent and there is no doubt that it will offer us back whatever we give to it.

One note of caution is that beginners may find it difficult to concentrate in the morning, in particular, when they are stressed out. For a smooth transition to morning meditation, it is recommended to remain mindful and concentrate on your breathing as much as they can. Feel the presence of your breathing by inhaling and exhaling slowly no matter how tired you may initially feel, you can then move on to other methods of meditation. If you struggle to meditate in the morning because of tiredness you can even try meditating while lying down, however, you still have to make sure you don’t fall straight back to sleep, finding the right balance is key and regular practice can help you find the space you need.

For someone who’s read a fair share of meditation-related articles online I settled into my morning meditation practice quite quickly. However that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. You might also want to consider the use of a meditations app such as Waking Up or Headspace which often have guided meditations for different times of the day which can be beneficial for someone new to the world of meditation.

Late Afternoon (3 pm-5 pm)

Human bodies often sense tiredness in the afternoon after having a stomach-full of lunch. This means meditating immediately after lunch can be problematic but if you prefer early afternoons then the ideal time to practice is one after eating. If you are thinking about late afternoon practice and living in a corner of the world that allows it, why not practice outside on sunny days? It can help add another layer of connection to your experience.

If you can meditate outside at this time of day why you can find a patch of grass away from on watchers. The chirping of birds and a light breeze can add the sparkle that is needed to begin the meditation. Feel the stillness around you and get carried away by nature’s spirits. Nature has its infinite positive energy to offer us and let us open the doors of our mind and soul to receive the eternal spiritual powers.

If you prefer to practice indoors purchasing a meditation cushion can help you keep your concentration while remaining comfortable.

Evening (5 pm-7 pm)

To many, meditating in the evening is the perfect remedy for a long stressful day at work.

It helps to divert our attention from the work-related issues and rejuvenates us. Whether your work is mentally or physically demanding, meditation is an excellent way to completely ‘switch off’ from the outside world, to focus deep within and enjoy being still for a moment. Mediating at this time in the evening can also be the ideal way to create a divide between work life and family time.

By focusing on your breathing you cut the mental activity of your days work short, and instead can focus on spending quality time with your family without being distracted by the stresses and tensions of work.

The reason for many disagreements within the family home is because of the stress and frustration from other areas of our lives overlapping into our home life. People often miss beautiful moments with their families because they let the temporary issues related to work, finance, or any other professional problems bother them. The reason for using the word ‘temporary’ is because as we all know deep down, these issues are just temporary. Time changes and today’s problem can be a solution for a different situation tomorrow.

Therefore, we have to draw a line between our professional and social life. The line can be drawn smoothly by meditating whenever we are disturbed. It can give us the strength, patience, and ability to come out of our tough situations without negatively affecting those closest to us.

Many people will also attend yoga classes at this time of day and meditation after your class really can take the experience to another level. Having said that you don’t need to practice yoga to also be able to meditate, and also vice versa.

Night (Bedtime)

We have to clearly understand that meditation and sleep are in nature, opposites of each other. This means it is difficult to get into a meditative state the last thing at night.

Our bodies are usually tired and looking for a good rest while meditation requires us to be fully conscious and late at night is not always the best time to achieve the required level of consciousness.

It is important to remember that we meditate to discover our essential nature and attain the highest level of spirituality. This can be achieved only when we are awake. Moreover, sleeping at the right time is equally important and trying to meditate will bring changes to our sleeping habits naturally by making us more alert and offering us more energy. Sleeping plays an important role in developing a healthy lifestyle and altering the sleep schedule will only affect our health.

Although all of this is scientifically true, you can meditate the last thing at night if it is the only time you have to stop both your physical and mental activity for a few moments. The best way to meditate at night is by doing so when you first lie down in bed for a few moments, then gradually letting yourself drift off to sleep.

The best time to meditate is whenever feels best for you.

Hopefully, this article has laid out the importance of meditation at different times during the day.

However, above all the appropriate timings mentioned, it is essential to perform whenever our body (and mind) demands.

Ideally, you should aim to meditate whenever you feel anxious, stressed, excited, or even in everyday situations.  Meditation does require mental efforts to get into a conscious state, and this can be easily achieved if we meditate according to our requirements.

Ultimately, It doesn’t matter where you are or what time it is. Meditating is perfectly okay to perform on your commute to work, in the office, during workouts, and in any other situation where you may feel stressed or have noticed you have slipped into an unconscious state with your mental activity taking control.

You should meditate for yourself and not because anyone says you should.

By now you are probably all too aware of the many benefits attached to meditation, including, increased energy levels, sharper focus, and emotional well-being. It is because of these benefits that you should look to incorporate meditation into your daily routine whenever you can.

Key Points to Remember

Conditions Morning Afternoon Evening Night
Ideal Timing 4 am-7 am 3 pm- 5 pm 5 pm-  7 pm Not preferred unless your routine demands
Around Meal Times Before breakfast At least one hour after lunch Before dinner At least one hour after dinner
Why Meditate at this time of day? Mind is fresh, free from distractions, and the world is quiet Need a break from hurly-burly of work To create a separation period between work and home life To focus on parts of the body that need attention and love to heal naturally overnight

On a concluding note, I would like to add my point of view. We meditate to achieve a healthy, joyous, and stress-free life. Why wait until we fall sick or get stressed to do? Practicing meditation regularly at all times throughout the day can help prevent sickness and stress. For many of us mornings help us achieve this easily, it allows us to appreciate a new day, a new beginning and to welcome the day ahead.

This means mornings are the best time of day to meditate for me, but in this busy world of ours, it is likely your schedule differs somewhat, or even quite considerably from mine. You may prefer to head to the gym first thing in the morning, in which case meditating in the afternoon will work better for you. Whatever your daily routine, finding a time to fit meditation within it can offer a host of benefits, however, do not be put off if you don’t have the time to meditate when others traditionally do so.

Keep it simple, find a time of day to meditate that works for you, that is all that matters.

Charlie Morley

I'm Charlie. I’m not a ‘guru’ or yogi with ten vipassana retreats under my belt. Far from it. I just enjoy Meditation and Yoga and want to create a daily routine that allows me to be present, mindful and in touch with consciousness and thought I would blog about the process.

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