When Is The Best Time Of Day To Meditate?
While any time is better than no time for meditation, certain points in the day can make your meditation experience easier. By “easier,” I refer to the enhanced ability of your brain to enter a meditative state. In this post, you’ll learn the best time of day to meditate as well as how you can use your natural brain wave states to your advantage.
Brain Waves In The Day
It’s helpful to gain a basic understanding of brain waves so that you can understand how time of day plays a role in meditation.
You can think of brain waves as the activity going on in your brain. As you can imagine, different tasks elicit different brain wave patterns. For example, the brain waves during sleep aren’t the same as the brain waves experienced while awake and working.
Throughout most of our waking day, we predominantly experience beta frequency brain waves. The intensity of beta waves varies depending on the activity at hand. For example, when you’re calmly reading a book, the beta waves are relatively lower, whereas if you encounter a stressful or anger-inducing situation while driving, the beta waves spike to a higher range.
Alpha brain waves, on the other hand, happen when you’re in a more relaxed and calm state. These brain waves are also associated with tapping into your intuition rather than being solely caught up in analytical thinking.
You can experience alpha type of brain waves naturally throughout your day but as you may have guessed, there are specific times of day where you are more naturally inclined to experience alpha brain waves.
The Science Behind Meditation
The Best Time Of Day To Meditate
Upon waking in the morning, you transition from the brain waves associated with sleep (theta and delta) into alpha brain waves and eventually into beta brain waves. As you approach bedtime, the brain shifts from beta waves back to alpha waves.
During meditation, it’s beneficial to induce alpha brain waves at the very least. Although meditation can be practiced at any time of the day, it’s particularly advantageous to do so shortly after waking up or just before going to sleep because this aligns you with the natural cycles of the brain.
By choosing these specific times, you are likely to require less time to enter a meditative state as this state is associated with alpha brain waves. This state transcends the thinking mind, which we know doesn’t contribute to effective meditation.
Think of those times when you try to meditate and you have a million thoughts running through your head, you probably don’t feel so relaxed & rejuvenated after that as opposed to a meditation where you find a sense of quiet in your mind.
Just because it's the best time of day doesn't mean it's the only time....
It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that you can’t attain alpha brain waves in the middle of the afternoon, I am simply sharing when it is likely to be easier.
For those struggling with meditation, why not make it easier for yourself?
Of course, if the only time you have peace and quiet in your home to meditate is at 1 PM, then by all means don’t pass up on that.
With regular practice, entering alpha-like wave states throughout your day will become increasingly more accessible.
Theta, delta, gamma,...other brain waves your can experience
During deep states of meditation, it’s possible to reach what is called theta brain waves, which is an even lower frequency than alpha.
Theta brain waves are associated with the subconscious mind, this state of mind can be accessed during deep meditation.
An interesting fact, which I found while researching for this blog post, is that while experiencing theta brain waves during waking life is abnormal in adults, it’s normal for children to experience theta during the day. This discovery is intriguing as it highlights how, as adults, we have closed ourselves off from our subconscious minds and concepts like energy. However, it also shows that reopening ourselves to these aspects is entirely possible.
Dr. Joe Dispenza has documented instances of meditation students entering delta and gamma brain waves as well. If you’re interested in diving deeper into the scientific aspects of meditation, I highly recommend his book, Becoming Supernatural. I’ve read this one in full and while I will say that it is a more challenging read because there is a lot of ‘science talk’, it’s a book that can profoundly change your perspective on life and healing.
Recap on best times of day to meditate
To recap, the most optimal times of day to meditate are right after waking up in the morning or right before going to sleep at night. I suggest trying out both and seeing what works best for you.
Personally, I get VERY tired if I try to meditate in the morning. By very tired, I mean that there is a high likelihood that I’ll legit fall back asleep…not a morning person here. Meditating at night is a completely different experience for me and is often when I’ll have spiritual experiences during meditation.
So try out morning versus night and see what you like better.
And remember, if these times don’t work for you, don’t write off meditation! It’s still entirely possible to have a wonderful, transformative meditation at any point in the day. Any meditation is better than no meditation.
I know sometimes learning about the ‘science’ side may not be as interesting for some people, but it really gives us deeper insight into what happens when we do work with things like energy or when we meditate.
Science helps people see that this isn’t something that’s ‘made-up’ by weirdo spiritual people…that’s me (LOL)..it’s researched and proven through science. It’s incredible how science and spirituality can actually work together.
I share this post with you today because I believe that understanding the role of brain waves in meditation can greatly enhance your practice.
Keep showing up for your meditations and you will experience the amazing effects of this practice.
For those interested, check out the guided meditation below which I specifically designed to help your brain get into some alpha waves 🙂
Dispenza, Joe. Becoming Supernatural. HAY HOUSE, INC., 2017.
“The Science of Brainwaves – the Language of the Brain.” NeuroHealth Associates, 2 Dec. 2019, nhahealth.com/brainwaves-the-language/.