Many people hesitate to meditate because they’re just not sure about the right way to do it. Even more so, they’re not sure when the best time of day to meditate really is. While meditation can be extremely structured and scheduled, it doesn’t have to be nearly as strict as some practitioners make it out to be. Starting simple and on a schedule that works for you is always better than no meditation at all.
When You Rise
Morning meditation is the general consensus as the absolute best time of day to meditate. There are several reasons for this. First, what you do when you first wake up sets the tone for your entire day. So an early meditation helps eliminate stress and starts your day with peace and energy.
KRI-certified Kundalini Yoga instructor Monique Derfuss says most yogis prefer the “ambrosial hours.” These provide the deepest spiritual connections for yoga and meditation. The ideal hours for this are 2-1/2 hours before the sun rises.
Meditation expert Erin Doppelt backs this up by saying many meditation gurus choose the hours between 3 AM and 6 AM to meditate. It’s one of the stillest times of day both in your life and in the universe.
If you’ve ever heard of 3 AM meditations, this is what both of these experts are talking about. This time of day is called Brahma muhurta. It doesn’t mean that’s the only time of day to meditate, but if you’re looking for a more spiritual meditation, this may be the best time for you. However, while many believe it begins at 3 AM or 3:30 AM, Brahma muhurta technically starts one hour and 36 minutes before sunrise and lasts 48 minutes. The actual time varies based upon sunrise.
If you’re just getting started, consider the time before sunrise as the more spiritual time to meditate. However, setting aside a short period during your morning routine works well and lets you focus easier before the stresses of the day crowd in.
Mindful Minutes owner Melissa Eisler prefers morning meditations but says that’s definitely not the only time to meditate. In fact, one of the best times of day to meditate is after work. Setting aside even ten minutes after work to meditate helps you eliminate work stress and better transition into your personal or home life.
After a long day, it’s easy to keep work with you. This affects your entire personal life and the lives of your loved ones. Use the time at the end of your workday to disconnect from work and reconnect with home.
During Lunch or a Daily Break
During the workday, lunch time is around the time when you start to feel tired. You’ve focused for several hours and just not feeling quite as productive. When your mind needs a break, meditate. Just like with a morning meditation, you can use your lunch break or any daily break as a chance to start off fresh with the next part of your day.
Imagine ending your lunch break feeling as alert and refreshed as you do when you first wake up in the morning. While it may take some practice to feel quite that good, you will feel much better after a short meditation session.
Before Stress Takes Over
Mindful.org’s guide to meditating suggests meditating whenever works best for you. However, anytime before stress starts to take over is optimal. The best time of day to meditate is when you’re able to find a moderately quiet and peaceful place.
Often, you hear you should meditate when you’re stressed. If you know when stress usually strikes, schedule short or long meditation sessions before those times. For instance, meditate before going to work, before major meetings, before family gatherings you’d rather not be at, and any other time you’d usually feel stressed.
Experts don’t all agree on this one. The best time of day to meditate may be right before going to bed for some people. However, since meditation can make you feel more focused and aware, some people find that it actually wakes them up even though they feel more relaxed.
For others, it’s the perfect way to wind down before going to sleep. By relaxing the body and mind, you feel less anxious and stressed. Thus, you sleep better. It’s a good idea to try meditating during the day first to see how it affects you.
No matter when you meditate, make it a habit. Doing it around the same time daily helps you experience the positive effects all day.