When to meditate? In the morning or evening?
Meditation is a hot subject these days. You hear about it everywhere. There’s a persistent notion that morning is the “best” time to meditate, and that other times are not as good, so I was wondering if time when we meditate really makes a difference? Has morning meditation better effects on us than evening meditation?
I have tried both for a month and here are the results.
Morning meditation practice
Let me tell you right away. I am not a morning person. And in the morning I am always in a hurry. First it felt impossible first to get out of bed even earlier than usually, before the kids woke up, to get 30 minutes of piece and quiet ME time. Rolling over and go right back to sleep seemed like the best idea. I thought about meditation as one more thing to do rather than something to benefit from. I tried hard to let go of my resistance and focus on all the mind-boggling ways meditation can benefit me. Lack of sleep can definitely get in the way to morning meditation, so I also paid attention and went to bed early enough to get at least seven hours of sleep (with two small kids that is sometimes easier said than done).
I have to admit that when I wasn’t sleep deprived the morning meditation really set the tone for the day. I was in a good mood, felt calmer and energized. My mind isn’t so busy in the morning and I loved sitting in front of our big living room windows and watching the sun come up on days when the weather was nice. But there were also days when I just fall asleep. And I figured: Why sit at all if I’m going to be drowsy / asleep?
Morning sits are great for setting a positive, calm tone for the day, but for me it’s no use to do them if I can’t manage to go to bed early. I found this morning guided meditation by Louise Hay which suited me very well and I was using it most of the mornings.
THE PROS OF MORNING MEDITATION:
- starting your day with a few minutes of meditation has a powerful, positive impact on how the rest of your day is going to go. That’s why so many people like to do it in the morning.
- I felt energized after it and ready to conquer the day
- morning meditation is increasing creativity and thought process
- After starting the day off with a gentle meditation, rather than jumping out of bed, I felt balanced and calmer, usual morning hectic in our house wasn’t driving me crazy
- the good thing about meditating early in the morning is that my stomach was empty. Meditation and yoga should be performed four hours after eating. A bowel movement before meditation will ease the concentration.
THE CONS OF MORNING MEDITATION:
- I don’t think there are many cons. However it’s sometimes difficult for sleep deprived people (if you have small kids like me). In that case morning meditation is not the best option, because you will end up feeling asleep and drowsy.
- It’s mostly also difficult to skimp on the duration of meditation, because you have to get ready and go to work.
Evening meditation practice
The week after I began sitting in the evening, before bed. The biggest distraction here was my busy mind, because of all the new things happening in my life. Zipping here, there and everywhere. However it got very peaceful in few days and the sleep was usually deep. Meditating in the evening can help still the mind, and is a great transition to wind down and prepare for sleep.
THE PROS OF EVENING MEDITATION:
- It has helped me sleep better.
- I look forward to my night meditations and some ME time, because there is no time limit I have to follow. I don’t have so much worries on my mind, kids are asleep and it’s also pretty quiet in the house.
THE CONS OF EVENING MEDITATION:
- What happened when I meditated after a tiring day was that because I was tired, your body goes into a recharging/relaxing mode and the brain got the cue to trigger sleep and I felt sleepy. I even felt asleep a few times, but that’s not really a con.
- it is difficult to meditate with the same freshness and hope in the evening as when I was rested in the morning.
As you see, there are pros and cons of morning meditation and evening meditation. The best time of the day depends on how we feel and is different to everyone. However, it’s best to always meditate at the same time everyday. This creates balance, and will help you to incorporate meditation as part of your life. I have decided to stick to the evening meditation for now and meditate in the morning when I find time for it and feel rested. I guess that’s when the kids grow up
How about you? When is your favourite time to meditate?