Best Time to Meditate (15 Tips + Expert Insights)

Do you ever pause and wonder when the best time to meditate is? Picking the right moment can boost the power of meditation. Whether you’re juggling jobs, running a home, or hitting the books, finding time to calm your mind matters.

What works best? That might depend on your own schedule and your goals with meditation. Some enjoy the stillness of morning meditation; others like to close their day with a peaceful session.

Is there really a universal answer to the timing of meditation?

This guide dives into various optimal times for meditation from morning to night. Curious about how these recommendations can fit into your daily life? Keep reading, and let’s explore together.

Upon Waking Up: Start Your Day Centered

My personal favorite time to meditate is right after waking up. It’s like setting the stage for the day ahead. Imagine starting your day not with the buzz of an alarm followed by the chaos of email checking but with a calm and centered mind.

Here’s what this might look like:

  • Silence and Serenity: You wake up, and before the world demands your attention, you sit by the window, observing the quietness of the morning.
  • Setting Intentions: During this time, you gently close your eyes and breathe deeply, setting your intentions for the day.

This practice doesn’t just help you start your day on a positive note; it truly transforms how you approach every challenge throughout the day. You’ll find yourself more composed, and the usual morning rush won’t feel as hectic.

"If your intent is to center your mind and become more relaxed, then the morning is ideal. It will help you center your mind and have a more fulfilling day. Morning is ideal because you will not have the actions of the day distracting you."

— Adina Mahalli | Certified Mental Health Consultant, Enlightened Reality | Relationship Expert, Maple Holistics

Before Bedtime: Promote Better Sleep

Meditating before bedtime can be a game-changer, especially if you find it hard to switch off at night. It’s like telling your body, “Hey, it’s time to slow down.

Here’s my usual routine:

I spend about 10-15 minutes meditating on my bed, focusing entirely on my breathing. This simple act helps to ease any tensions built up over the day. You kind of feel the stress melting away as you gradually sink into a state of relaxation, readying you for a deep sleep.

Remember, a calm mind leads to better sleep, and better sleep means a fresher you in the morning!

"Another excellent choice is to meditate before bed. This is an especially good choice if you have trouble sleeping or are prone to anxiety. Meditation before bed allows you to release all the stresses you have accumulated throughout the day, leaving your body relaxed and prepared for a good night's rest. You'll likely find you get much more restorative sleep and may even wake up fewer times throughout the night!"

Gabrielle Desmarais, NTP | Nutritional Therapy Practitioner | Founder, Forevergreen All-Natural Care & Healing, LLC

When Feeling Overwhelmed: Restore Balance

There are times when life just feels a bit too much, and it’s at these moments when meditation can be a real lifeline.

Meditating when overwhelmed helps to:

  • Regain Clarity: Clear your mind of clutter and refocus on what truly matters.
  • Manage Emotions: Gain control over your emotions rather than letting them control you.

Think of it as hitting the pause button amidst chaos. Whether you’re dealing with work overload or personal challenges, carving out even five minutes to meditate can significantly reduce your stress levels and restore a sense of balance.

After Work: Decompress and Detach

The end of your workday is the perfect time to shed off the day’s stress. If you’ve spent hours at your job, your mind might be buzzing with deadlines, meetings, and projects.

By taking time to meditate after work, you give yourself the chance to let go of those thoughts. This isn’t just about relaxation; it’s about giving space between your work life and personal time.

You could sit in a quiet spot at home or even in a park. Just close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and let the day’s events roll off your back. You’ll likely find that after meditating, you’re more present with family or friends and better able to enjoy your evening.

Ambrosial Hours

The term “Ambrosial Hours” might sound mystical, and in many traditions, it is indeed considered a profoundly sacred time.

These are the hours just before the dawn breaks, typically between 3:00 AM and 6:00 AM, when the world is still, and the hustle of daily life hasn’t begun.

This time is cherished for meditation because of its natural tranquility and the unique energetic qualities present during these early morning hours.

Why meditate during this time? Well, aside from the obvious peace due to fewer distractions, the ambrosial hours are believed to have a special kind of energy that aids in deeper spiritual connection and introspection.

Here’s how you might approach it:

  • Set your alarm to wake you a bit earlier than usual. Yes, it might be tough at first, but the serene atmosphere at this time can make it worthwhile.
  • Keep your meditation space prepped the night before. Maybe lay out a mat or arrange a comfortable chair by the window.

As you sit in the quiet of pre-dawn, allow yourself to feel the stillness that surrounds you. This is a time for deep meditation, where you can explore your inner thoughts and emotions without the interference of day-to-day stress.

It is about connecting with yourself on a profound level, using the unique energy of these early hours to enhance your spiritual awareness.

During Your Lunch Break: A Midday Pause

Splitting your day with a meditation break can give you the second wind you need. It’s easy to get caught in the rush of tasks and forget to pause, but even a short break dedicated to meditation during your lunch hour can reboot your energy levels.

Find a quiet corner, use noise-canceling headphones, or even stay seated at your desk—wherever you can be undisturbed for a while.

Focusing on your breath for even 5 or 10 minutes can help lift any midday fog, leaving you clearer and prepared to tackle the afternoon’s challenges with a recharged mind.

Early Afternoon: Overcome the Slump

The early afternoon often brings with it a natural dip in energy. This is the time when you might reach for that extra cup of coffee to keep going. Instead, consider a brief meditation session.

This doesn’t require equipment or special clothing. At your workspace, or in a quiet area, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and let the rhythm of your inhale and exhale revive your alertness.

This short break can make a strong impact, giving you a boost that lasts longer than caffeine and without the jitters.

Before Breakfast: Fast Track to Calm

Meditating before breakfast can be like centering yourself before the day begins. It’s a quiet time for a lot of us; the rush of the day hasn’t started. You might only need a couple of minutes to sit in silence and prepare your mind for what’s ahead.

This practice can help manage emotions and set a calm mindset. By doing this, you can aim to go about your day with a clearer head and a more grounded sense of self.

You might find that this early morning routine helps with making better choices throughout the day, including what you eat for breakfast.

Mid-Morning: Refocus Your Mind

Around mid-morning, after the initial rush of starting the day, you might find your focus starting to blur. This is a strategic time for a quick meditation session to refocus and gather your thoughts.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Choose a quiet spot away from your usual work area if possible.
  • Spend around 5-10 minutes in meditation, concentrating solely on your breath or on a specific intention for the remainder of the day.

This short meditative break acts as a mental reset, sharpening your concentration and preparing you to tackle the rest of your tasks with a clear, focused mind. It’s a simple technique that can significantly enhance your productivity and mental clarity.

Before Lunch: Reset Your Energy

Just as the morning’s momentum starts to slow down and lunchtime approaches, meditation can serve as a powerful tool to rejuvenate your spirit. This is an ideal moment to step back, to take a breather from your work, and to realign your energies.

You could do this by simply sitting quietly and observing your breath or even by walking mindfully if you prefer movement.

This practice not only refreshes you for the second half of your day but also encourages healthier eating habits as you approach your meal with mindfulness and gratitude.

Sunset: Reflect and Wind Down

There’s something inherently calming about the time of sunset, making it an ideal backdrop for meditation. It’s the period to reflect on the day’s events and begin the process of winding down.

Here’s what I usually do:

  • Sit in a place where you can see the sun setting, if possible. The natural beauty greatly enhances the experience.
  • Reflect on what the day brought you, acknowledging successes and letting go of any setbacks.

This practice is not just about relaxation, but it’s also a moment of gratitude and closure. It allows you to appreciate the day’s efforts and transition smoothly into the evening, setting a peaceful tone for the rest of your night.

After a Workout: Cool Down Your Mind and Body

Post-workout is another excellent time for meditation. Just as you cool down your body, you can also soothe your mind.

Here’s how:

  • After completing your physical exercise, find a comfortable spot to sit or lie down.
  • Engage in deep breathing or a body scan meditation, focusing on relaxing any areas of tension.

This practice helps in harmonizing the body and mind after the physical exertion of a workout. It enhances muscle relaxation, aids in recovery, and can even increase the psychological benefits of exercising by boosting your mood and reducing stress levels.

Before an Important Meeting: Sharpen Your Focus

Taking a few minutes to meditate before an important meeting can work wonders for your concentration. In a quiet space, steady your breathing and allow yourself to enter a state of calm attentiveness.

This practice can clear excess thoughts from your mind, enabling you to focus on the present moment and the task at hand. It’s about giving yourself that mental clarity which can be crucial in settings where you need to be fully aware and engaged.

Whenever You Feel Stressed: Instant Relief

Stress tends to hit at unexpected times, and it’s in these moments that meditation can be your quick go-to for relief. Don’t wait for stress to build up; give yourself permission to pause and meditate right then and there.

Even a short period of focused breathing can help reduce tension and bring a sense of control back into your life. This is the power of meditation – to serve as an anchor when the seas of stress are high, to bring you back to a place of steadiness.

Whenever You Can: Prioritize Your Practice

The beauty of meditation is that it’s incredibly flexible—it can be done almost anywhere, at any time. The key is recognizing that the most effective meditation habit is the one that fits seamlessly into your life.

Here is what you can do:

  • Identify small pockets of idle time in your day, perhaps while waiting in line or during a commute.
  • Use these moments to conduct mini-meditations, focusing on your breathing or engaging in a simple mindfulness practice.

The goal is to make meditation a regular part of your day, just like eating or sleeping – a habit that contributes to your overall well-being.

"Meditation experts all agree that it is far more important to consistently meditate during the times that work for you than to skip meditating based on specific times of the day which are more beneficial. Remember, being consistent will always be the best time to meditate!"

— Todd Denen | Founder, Advanced Flow University | Author, Meditation Secrets Revealed: Get OFF The Damn Ground!

Excerpts From the Experts

“The best time to meditate is in the mid-afternoon. My research has shown that a seven-minute Repose session has a number of benefits, including stress reduction; increased happiness, optimism, and resilience levels; and enhanced memory, attention, and mental acuity.

One of the optimal times for Repose is in the mid-afternoon, between 2 and 3:30 pm. This time period corresponds to a natural lull in our daily arousal levels, which advertisers have referred to as ‘that 2:30 feeling.’ It is also the reason that so many cultures have a rest period or pause immediately following lunch.

For the past five years, I have been encouraging employers to give their staff a seven-minute Repose break in the afternoon. This would increase productivity and elevate morale at relatively little cost to the employer.”

Victor Shamas, Ph.D. |Psychologist | Author, Repose: The Potent Pause | Consciousness Researcher, University of Arizona

“The best time to meditate is when you are most likely to practice! Like learning any skill, meditation takes repeated practice, so it’s important to meditate when you are most likely to fit it into your schedule. People get the greatest benefit when they can make practicing meditation a habit and for most folks, this means practicing at the same time every day.

Even if you don’t have much time to meditate on any given day, you’re better off practicing for 2 or 3 minutes than not practicing at all. Often people find that associating meditation practice with something they do regularly helps create a meditation habit. Get up. Brush teeth. Meditate.

Many people find that meditating first thing in the morning works well before they get busy with the activities of the day. But, since people’s schedules and preferences are so varied, it’s most important to find a time to meditate that works for you!”

Joy Rains | Meditation Speaker | Author, Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind

“There is no best time to meditate. There are, however, different outcomes to meditating at different times of day or night. The most important thing is not when you meditate, but in having a consistent daily routine of meditation.

It’s the daily consistency which helps to rewire the brain and promote the many positive benefits that meditation can cause. Meditating in the morning is a great way to set the stage for your day, focus on positivity, goals and to have the motivation necessary to succeed.

Meditating at night is a great way to slough off the mental chatter and debris accumulated throughout the day. It can promote better sleep, deeper relaxation, and really take advantage of meditation’s ability to neutralize the external stimuli we face on a daily basis.

It’s like brushing your teeth after a meal vs before: both are good for health and have different benefits.”

Jaya Jaya Myra | TEDx Speaker | Wellness Lifestyle Expert | Author, Vibrational Healing: Attain Balance & Wholeness

I would typically recommend that you meditate first thing in the morning or at dusk, it’s important that you don’t overthink it and choose a time that feels right for you. I find that with many of my clients and students, if they think they are meditating incorrectly, they avoid it altogether or they rarely engage in meditation.

I advise that you select a consistent time for yourself each day and add it to your calendar. Close your eyes and allow for at least 5-minutes of focused breathing. You can set a timer on your phone or use an app like Calm or Insight Timer.

A few minutes each day can make a huge difference in your overall well-being.”

— Dallisa Hocking | CEO, Spirit & Spark™ | 5th Generation Psychic Medium | Transformation & Manifestation Expert

“I encourage all of my clients to meditate or use mindfulness in some way. Ideally, I suggest them to meditate first thing in the morning. When we start getting into our day, it can be harder to meditate because we’re in such a ‘doing’ mode.”

Jenna Palumbo, LCPC | Mental Health Therapist | Owner, Evergreen Therapy

“There is no perfect time! In the car? Feel hands on the wheel. Sense eyes on the road. Notice button the car seat. Family argument? What a perfect time to observe the thoughts and sensations that arise from anger or frustration!

Waiting in the grocery line? What a fabulous opportunity to be curious about what constitutes boredom! What does boredom feel like? Where does the person feel it in her body? What thoughts arise as she stands and waits? Waiting for the perfect time to meditate is a trap. Instead, seize every opportunity!”

Nita Sweeney | Coach | Runner | Author, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I decide the best time for me to meditate?

The best time for you will depend on your lifestyle, personal preferences, and goals. Keep experimenting and adjusting until you find the perfect meditation schedule that works for you. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you decide:

Assess your daily routine:

• Make a list of your daily tasks and responsibilities.
• Identify periods of downtime or breaks.
• Note any moments of high stress or anxiety.

Determine your energy levels:

• Are you a morning or night person?
• When do you feel most alert and focused?
• When do you typically experience mental fatigue?

Consider your meditation goals:

• Do you want to start your day with a calm mindset?
• Are you aiming to relieve stress during the day?
• Do you want to unwind and relax before bedtime?

Experiment with different times:

• Try meditating in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
• Pay attention to how each session impacts your overall well-being.
• Adjust the duration and frequency of your meditation practice as needed.

Create a consistent schedule:

• Choose a specific time that aligns with your preferences and goals.
• Set a reminder or add the meditation session to your daily calendar.
• Aim for consistency to build a sustainable habit.

Can I meditate multiple times a day?

You can meditate multiple times a day if you’d like. In fact, many people find that meditating at different times throughout the day helps them maintain a balanced and focused state of mind.

Short meditation sessions can be incorporated into your daily routine, such as during a break at work, before meals, or before bedtime. The key is to find a schedule that works best for you and your lifestyle.

How to meditate properly?

Meditation is a wonderful practice that can help bring calmness and focus to your life. Here’s a simple, engaging guide to get started:

• Find a quiet space: Choose a location free from distractions where you feel comfortable and can relax. It can be indoors or outdoors.

• Set a timer: Decide how long you want to meditate, starting with 5-10 minutes for beginners. Set a timer so you can focus without worrying about time.

• Sit comfortably: Find a comfortable seated position—on a chair or cushion. Keep your back straight but relaxed, and place your hands on your lap or knees.

• Close your eyes: Gently close your eyes to help you focus inward. If you prefer, you can keep them slightly open and gaze softly at a point on the floor.

• Breathe naturally: Pay attention to your breath without trying to control it. Simply observe the sensation of air entering and leaving your body.

• Focus on your breath: Mentally count each breath as you inhale and exhale. When you reach ten, start again from one. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath.

• Be patient: It’s normal for thoughts to arise during meditation. Acknowledge them without judgment, then let them go, returning your focus to your breath.

• End your session: When the timer goes off, slowly bring your awareness back to your surroundings. Open your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and stretch gently before getting up.

Final Thoughts

We’ve seen that finding the best time to meditate can vary from one person to another. It all depends on when you can fit it into your schedule and what you want to get out of it.

You might find morning meditation refreshes you for the day, or evening sessions help you sleep better.

Remember, the real trick is to keep your meditation practice regular. Try to meditate at about the same time each day. This habit will help you stay calm and focused, no matter which time you choose.

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Jahrine is a seeker of knowledge and personal growth. When not exploring the worlds of self-help books and spirituality, she enjoys reading dark fiction and spending time with her beloved dogs. With diverse interests, including career development, travel, and poetry, Jahrine is constantly expanding her horizons and seeking new experiences.