Does Buddhism have any recommendation for particular time of day for meditation? Can I meditate before going to sleep at night if I don't feel drowsy before I go to bed?

Is there any Sutra which talks about this?

  • 1
    Just to be clear, you are asking if there is anything in the scriptures on this? And not asking about other people's personal experience and recommendations?
    – THelper
    Jul 24, 2014 at 8:20
  • @THelper, maybe both. I would like to know if there is any sutra which recommends the timings. Also what practitioners & teachers say.
    – Bharat
    Jul 24, 2014 at 14:12

5 Answers 5


No such recommended time. Especially if you are doing Vipassana meditation, you are advised to practice Samma Sati all the time. But early morning(just before dawn) is said to be a good time for meditation since the world is still sleeping and the mind is very clear and less distracted. So you can easily attain Samadhi. You'll find that it's a very good time to study as well. You can easily memorise things. All the Buddhas have attained enlightenment just before dawn as I've heard. Yes, you can do meditation before going to bed. If it's Vipassana meditation, drowsiness won't be a problem as you can meditate on the drowsiness. Some people with insomnia try meditation at nights to help them fall asleep.


Thought I total agree that there isn't a particular time of day for meditation I personally think it is important to have a time of day of your choosing that you aim to meditate. So if that's morning then great or late of an evening then also great. However the important thing is that there is a time and you make an attempt to stick to it (without beating yourself up if you miss it). With a structure you will be more likely to have a regular meditation practice. Without a structure my experience is that things will slip.

That said, I think there are times when it's going to be harder to meditate. I've always found after lunch particularly difficult. You are naturally more sleepy then, so sloth and torpor will be pronounced hindrances. Still even an after lunch meditation is possible particularly something like a walking meditation.


I can answer based on the retreats I've done, this is not an universal rule or something.

We used to Meditate twice a day, first before dawn with empty stomach for 30 or 40 minutes and then after bedtime again 30 or 40 minutes. It is important not to have a full stomach when meditating.

Of course, if you go to a retreat focused on meditation you will meditate much more than that. At home I try to meditate at least 20 minutes per day, but I don't think this is enough, I'm trying to increase.


Any time that you actually will do it is the best time! Enough said.

...Here's a list of conditions that make my meditation effortlessly take off into concentration/wisdom:

  1. physical needs satiated (hunger, warmth, thirst, sex)
  2. no food in digestive tracts
  3. no feces in bowels
  4. did physical exercise (or yoga or some sort of physical tonification)
  5. drink some light tea
  6. no recent emotional/social problems plaguing the mind
  7. evening-time or early morning: not too early, not too late, not too much thinking on mind at these times (during the day it is business time)
  8. after reading some motivating dharma stories, especially Taoist
  9. after reading proper practice instruction

The last one is key and one should always at least mentally review how to practice before practicing.


18 hours is the proper time for daily meditation :) The essence of Lord Buddha's teachings is mindfulness which means focusing to the present moment objectively without puting any judgements to it whether its positive, negative or neutral experience.

A beginner meditator's mind would be deeply cloudy and would have intense physical and mental addictions. Especially the modern technology age's "sweet" escaping tools is a real enemy for the meditator. If a meditator does few minutes(or even hours) of meditation, he or she mustn't think that "I finished my job today now I can go and entertain myself".

The real positive results comes when the meditator meditates all day long, which means he continues to practice mindfulness after finishing formal meditation session, whether he or she is walking, drinking water, sitting on a bus, or working on his/her job.

There is a hardcore path too, when the meditator starts practising intensive meditaton for long periods of time(If he or she has time and place ofcourse). But its not possible to start walking on that path unless the meditator really starts to become a master of living in the present moment.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." BUDDHA

  • Could you say in which sutta the Buddha mentioned 18 hours. Thanks.
    – Bharat
    Mar 18, 2015 at 20:40

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