If you want to get into a good habit of meditating every day, the best thing you can do is to have a routine. Some people like to do their meditation first thing in the morning, whereas others think that the best time to meditate is last thing at night. However, there is some suggestion that you should do your meditation practice at 4am to get the most benefits from meditation.
But why is this? In short, it is believed that you are able to more easily enter into a meditative state at this time due to your body being somewhere between wakefulness and sleep. But is this the best way to practice?
In this article, we will be looking at whether it is worth waking up before the birds to get in a meditation practice or if you should be looking at a different schedule for your meditation practice.
Why Is 4am A Good Time To Meditate?
One of the most important things about meditation is that you achieve a quality practice. However, this cannot usually be done if your energy levels are lacking and many times, people will meditate and find themselves falling asleep owing to the peace of the activity.
One of the benefits of meditation is that it allows you to relax. But if you go too far in that direction it can mean that you lose your focus, your mind starts to wander and before you know it, you’re waking up in a puddle of your own drool.
There is some suggestion that if you wake up every day to meditate at 4am gives you the chance to really concentrate on your meditation practice and retain your concentration. This is because your mind is not yet filled with all of the things that it needs to worry about during the day. For example, when you just wake up, your focus will be on meditating rather than which bills you need to pay or what tasks need doing at work that day.
Furthermore, when we meditate early in the morning, our body and mind are still in a kind of sleepy state. You might think that this would not be beneficial to an early morning meditation but it can apparently make it much easier to drift into a meditative state.
The reason for this is that when you initially wake up, your brain isn’t yet functioning as it would be later in the day. There is a lack of beta waves, to those in the scientific field, these waves are described as being the most active. Conversely, and rather conveniently, theta and delta waves are present when we are sleeping and also are required to aid meditation. this natural function of the mind could be key to unlocking a much more successful meditation routine that could see massive changes in your day to day life.
Along with all of this, meditating in the morning means that you will have the best energy levels. You might compare yourself to a phone, when you wake up, your mind and body are filled with energy but as the day goes on, this energy dwindles and by the time evening comes, it can be difficult to focus our minds on anything other than winding down for the day.
How To Do A Morning Meditation
If you aren’t used to getting up at 4am, when it may still be dark, then it might take a while to become accustomed to your new practice. But that isn’t to say that it cannot be done. The best way to see results is by getting into a routine and sticking to it.
Whether you are at home, on vacation or staying away on a work trip, make sure that you set and alarm. Eventually, your sleep schedule changes and you will find rising before the sun quite easy.
Find A Space
An important part of your morning meditation practice is to find a quiet and comfortable space to experience your meditative moments. You could choose a chair or a place on the floor with a meditation cushion. Anywhere in the home will work but try to avoid staying in bed.
Get Prepared For Meditation
4am is considered to be the best time to meditate but this doesn’t mean that you need to spring out of bed and get straight to work on your meditation routine.
The best way to approach the experience is to take some time to prepare. You might take a shower or get up and brush your teeth. Doing this will be something that can aid you in waking your mind a little and avoiding falling straight back to sleep.
Finding The Right Posture
Make sure that you find a position that feels right for you. No matter how much peace, quiet and stillness there may be early in the morning, if you aren’t comfortable, you won’t be able to reap the benefits of meditation.
The most important part is that you are able to keep the spine straight.
Practicing The Meditation
To begin the session, close your eyes and place your awareness on your breathing. Try to slow the breath down and relax yourself. You may find that your mind drifts to thoughts about work, life and other every day issues, but if you find these thoughts entering, just gently guide your mind back to your breathing.
As you learn to keep your awareness on your breath, you will notice that this awareness moves away to other things less and less.
You don’t need to spend ages each morning meditating. A good length of time is around 20 minutes but with the eyes closed, it is possible that you might lose track of time.
If you find that this is the case for you, you might set an alarm. However, there are other options.
Meditation doesn’t always have to be able sitting in silence and breathing. You could go for a walk in nature for a movement meditation or couple your meditation with a yoga practice. Yoga is a naturally meditative activity and a great way to play with combining movement and awareness.
Alternatively, you could use a guided meditation. Having someone guide you through the process can be very useful if you find it especially difficult to train the brain into a calm and peaceful state.
Is It Best To Meditate In The Morning Or At Night?
The truth is that you can meditate at any time of the day or night; whenever suits you is the best time. However, research has been done on the subject and it has been determined that the best time to meditate is in the morning.
At this time, the brain is free from the stress and complex emotions that life brings throughout each day. Meditating before it gets light is something that a lot of deeply spiritual people like monks have done for thousands of years all over the world.
Take a look at these benefits of meditating in the morning:
- It gives you a calm beginning to the day. All too often, we dive right into our social media, reading the news or checking out email and this is one of the worst ways to start the day as you are stressed from the moment that you open your eyes. All of these things can wait and you can spend some quality time enjoying the stillness.
- Meditation is known to release endorphins and these are a great way to promote energy in the morning.
- Mediation in the morning means that you will be able to develop a greater level of focus. When you keep practicing morning meditation, over time, you will notice that you are much more easily able to prioritise your work and life, leading to less stress.
- Meditation can improve your overall well being and while your daily experience won’t change; you’ll still have to tend to your responsibilities, you will notice that you feel better about it and more healthy.
Is it Good To Meditate At Night?
One of the big problems with practicing meditation at night is that there is a good chance that you might fall asleep. Of course, at times this is OK, if your body needs to rest then you should allow it to do this. However, if this is something that happens consistently, then you won’t be getting all of the benefits that meditation has to offer.
If you must meditate at night, you should make sure that you do not do this on your bed. It is also a good idea to make the room cooler by opening a window. A cold, fresh breeze will help to keep you alert.
This might seem like a very odd time of day to spring out of bed and get mindful and it certainly raises the question of why this is a good time.
There are several answers to this question; primarily, your mind is much clearer and more more focused at this time of day and you have more energy as opposed to later on when you may find that you are distracted by everything else in your life. Furthermore, the experience of meditating before the sun rises can be incredibly calming and will set a relaxed tone for the day.
While it is possible to meditate at night, this could result in you falling asleep. For this reason, it might be better to snuggle down under the covers with a book by your favorite author before bedding down for the night and set an alarm to meditate in the morning.