When is the Best Time to Meditate will Depend on your Schedule
For beginners just starting out, meditation poses many challenges. Gaining control of the mind is hard enough so I recommend you make a strong effort to take on the easy stuff first like figuring out when is the best time to meditate to get a groove going.
A concept that can limit enthusiastic new practitioners is getting too tight on the best time to meditate. While there are many theories about what times of the day are best, in the beginning, use your discretion within the parameters of what is reasonable. This means it has to work with your current schedule. It is assumed by many that first thing in the morning is the best time. Certainly upon awakening is generally a good time to meditate. The mind is fresh from sleep and not yet cluttered with thoughts of the day.
But if you are not a morning person and hate the idea of having to rise 30 minutes earlier than normal, then this is definitely NOT the best time for you. Some good times besides early morning include after a bath or shower. The reason for this is that water on the skin affects mood, especially cold water. The science is called Hydrotherapy. In essence, body chemistry is affected positively when willingly exposed to water (getting rained on might not feel great). You’ll feel better after a bath or shower and thus be more susceptible to a good meditation.
Another good time is when you feel some sort of emotional disturbance trying to take you over. That is a great time to sit and examine what’s going on before you get too irritated or anxious.
…if you are not a morning person and hate the idea of having to rise 30 minutes earlier than normal, then this is definitely NOT the best time for you.
For the newbie, do it when it works for your schedule but apply a little wisdom… just before bed isn’t great as you might just fall asleep. Meditation is an inner alertness, not a way to fall asleep. Meditating regularly is likely to improve your sleep patterns but be careful that you don’t just fall asleep.
After a big meal will feel uncomfortable as your belly is full and your energy is focused on digestion. When you are super wired with tons to do, you likely won’t be able to relax. Avoid these times.
Your best bet when starting out is to try various options over a two week period. See where your results are best and which times actually get you to do it. You might find that right before dinner leads to a good meditation but if 90% of the time, you have to prepare the family meal or tend to your children, then this isn’t ideal. Experiment and go with the flow.