Is There A Best Time Of Day To Meditate?

Ancient texts refer to different times of the day as beneficial meditation hours. However, the best time to meditate is the time that works best for you and that doesn't feel forced.
Chief Editor Insight Timer Blog
best time to meditate
Chief Editor Insight Timer Blog

Although ancient texts refer to auspicious meditation hours before sunset, at midday, or in the evening, the best time to meditate is the meditation you actually do. Rather than forcing your meditation into one set time, explore with practicing at different times to see when meditation feels best for you. When you find a time that works, commit to it. In this article, we explore the pros and cons of common meditation times and also offer free guided practices for different hours of meditation.

Morning, Midday, Evening: When Is The Best Time To Meditate For You?

Morning Meditation

Is morning the best time to meditate? Morning, and especially before sunrise is a special time of day when the world is in a state of transition. We move from darkness toward light, nature awakens as we do, and our surroundings are quiet, peaceful and relatively still. Those who meditate in the early morning find that the quietude of the natural world is reflected in their own minds at this time. It’s calm outside, and we feel calm within. 

By making meditation the priority of the day, we’re much more likely to get it done. For many of us, it’s just too much of a challenge to step away from activity and return to the cushion once the tasks of daily life have begun. 

Meditating first thing in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. We can recall our meditation and remember its benefits as we move throughout the day.

Read more: Do you regularly feel anxious when getting up? Explore how a healthy morning routine can alleviate a buzzing mind and anxious thoughts.

Benefits Of Morning Meditation

  • The world around us is relatively calm, quiet, and still
  • We’re likely at home in a private, quiet space
  • Prioritizing our practice ensures it will get done
  • Morning meditation sets the tone for the day
  • The stomach is empty which is traditionally considered beneficial
  • Pre-dawn is an auspicious time to meditate

Make the most of your day with a mindful morning. This playlist can help you to step into the world with clarity, love and energy, ready to manifest all that your heart desires.

For some, it just doesn’t make sense to wake up early enough for a morning meditation. Work schedules vary as well as sleep schedules and family life. Meditating first thing in the morning doesn’t always work for those who wake up feeling groggy or too agitated by the pending tasks of the day ahead. 

If this sounds like you, try making space for meditation later in the morning, or get a few things done, and come back to your meditation practice midday.

how to meditate for beginners

Midday Meditation

By noon we’re awake and so is the world. There can be an energy of alertness and clarity that arises when the sun is highest in the sky. We’ve likely gotten a few important tasks out of the way, and we’re ready for a midday break. It’s possible that, for you,  midday is the best time to meditate. 

Meditating at noon allows us to stop and slow down even amidst the movement of the day. It’s a chance to practice our ability to create space between the pace of the world outside and the pace of our world within. While challenging at first, we soon learn that nothing is as urgent as we once thought it was, and by taking a mindful break, we can return to the busy world with greater clarity and peace of mind. 

Midday Meditation Hacks: How To Meditate In The Middle Of The Day

  • At work? Find a quiet space in the bathroom, an unused conference room, or in your car
  • Lunch break? Meditate before you eat for greater alertness
  • Put all devices on pause. Turn off notifications
  • Go for a walk or take your practice outdoors
  • Put meditation on the schedule as you would for any meeting
  • Plan your morning with a noon meditation in mind

You think midday might be the best time to meditate for you? In the office, at home, or while commuting, this perfectly relaxing playlist is built for busy work days:

Daytime can be a tough time to take a break, whether due to scheduling conflicts, or the activity of the mind. When the mind is in peak activity mode, and work or life is pulling us in all directions, to stop and meditate can cause more stress than it’s worth. With an understanding that this too is what the practice can help us overcome, we need to be loving and kind to ourselves. We need to give ourselves a chance for a successful and enjoying meditation. 

If meditating midday causes too much stress, an afternoon or evening meditation may work best.

Read more: Discover how to lower stress levels and increase happiness levels by meditating during a long commute.

Afternoon & Evening Meditation

In the hours before and after sunset, the world is once again in transition. There’s a natural shift in energy and it’s a good time to pause and reflect. Our day is done, or winding down, and your meditation can allow for a more spacious and conscious transition between the activity of the day and the quiet of the evening.

Read more: Learn about the link between bedtime rituals and restorative sleep and discover helpful guidelines for a healthy evening routine.

Similar to our midday practice, an afternoon meditation is an opportunity to remember that we may never feel completely “done” with our to-do lists. We must give ourselves the space to meditate regardless, and in the late afternoon, it may be easier to challenge ourselves a bit with this practice. After 15, 20, or 30 minutes of meditation, we return to the same problems, different problems, or none at all, but we’re likely better equipped to handle them.

Benefits Of Late Day Meditation

  • The tasks of the day are (mostly!) accomplished
  • Afternoon meditations help us unwind, or help us feel more aware and alert
  • Afternoon meditation create space between work life and home life
  • Dusk is a natural time of transition between day and night
  • Evening practice finds us back at home, in a private space
  • Evenings may feel quieter than the day
  • Evening meditation can improve sleep

Relax and unwind with specially curated meditations and music to help you let go of your day and transition to a restful night:

While meditating in the evening indeed improves sleep, we don’t always desire sleepiness in meditation. If sleep is not the intention of the meditation, it’s best to leave an hour or more of space between your meditation and your bedtime to keep the mind alert and awake.

Read more: Adding meditation to your bedtime routine can be very rewarding. Explore best practices to meditate lying down in bed.

Meditation Anytime & All The Time

Finding a regular meditation time that works for you each and every day will accelerate your practice. We’ve all had an experience of the body’s intuitive schedule. We’ve woken up before the alarm clock, we feel sleepy at bedtime, and the same can happen when we commit to a regular meditation time. Our minds can and will get more focused, peaceful, and calm at meditation time, and eventually, the mind itself will assist us in our meditation out of habit.

Read more: Meditation teacher Giovanni Dienstmann reflects on how to meditate properly.

That said, we can also meditate at any time! If we find ourselves with a canceled meeting, if we’re bored, angered, feeling joyful, overwhelmed, or anything, we can step aside and meditate. You might want to read our article about informal meditation that explains seven ways to bring your meditation practice outside the box.

Eventually, we learn to integrate our meditation practice into our every moment of our lives. Practice mindfulness on your cushion, then practice it as you’re brushing your teeth. Practice breath awareness on your cushion, then practice it when your coworker is yelling at you. Practice loving-kindness on your cushion, then practice it on your morning commute.

Read more: Among the most common excuses for not meditating is lack of time. Explore different ways of practicing one-minute meditation throughout your day.

The best time to meditate is the one that works for you. Meditate often, stay aware of your experience, and you’ll learn which time of day is best through meditation itself.

Whether morning, noon, afternoon or evening is the best time to meditate for you, start your routine and explore several meditation techniques with this free learn to meditate course – just click on the banner below.
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