The Best Time Of Day To Meditate, According To Science

Meditation can be incredibly effective for helping you to manage stress, improve your sleep quality, lower your blood pressure, and increase your overall well-being (via Mayo Clinic). A meta-analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine has even shown that meditation can be an effective way to reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. There are many reasons why you may choose to meditate, but getting started with a consistent practice may take a bit of planning. 

To maximize the effects of your meditation practice, you may want to establish a specific time each day to meditate. Dr. Judson Brewer, director of research and innovation at Brown University's Mindfulness Center, explained that the hour before sunrise is the prime time for meditation (via Medium). Indeed, traditional yogic practices suggest before sunrise as an ideal time, but that doesn't necessarily mean you need to wake up at the crack of dawn if that doesn't fit with your schedule, according to Healthline. The best time of day to meditate is determined by you and your schedule.

While meditating when you first wake up (whenever that may be) can be a great way to prepare your mind and nervous system for the day ahead, don't feel like you have to box yourself into this specific time frame. Monique Derfuss, KRI-certified Kundalini Yoga instructor, told Healthline, "With a busy lifestyle, anytime you can meditate is a good time."

How to maximize your meditation practice

Regardless of when in your day you choose to practice meditation, Healthline suggests picking a time and sticking to it. Having a consistent meditation schedule will help you more easily incorporate your sessions into your normal routine.

When it comes to determining how long each meditation session should be, start slow and work your way up. Some people choose to meditate for 20 minutes or more each day but that can feel incredibly daunting, especially if you're a beginner. Consistency trumps intensity when it comes to starting your practice so don't feel that you need to have daily marathon sessions in order to maximize the benefits of meditation. Meditating once a day for five minutes is a great place to start (via Verywell Mind). Be sure to look up the many videos, apps, and other online resources that offer free guided meditations for you to take advantage of in order to get the most out of your practice.