Today, I am going to discuss with you a very interesting topic about meditation. The topic is should you meditate before sleep or not. Let me tell you a little bit about my own experience. I have meditated for a few years and have enjoyed the benefit of getting my mind cleared. I tried and almost did meditate every single day throughout the last few years and I am going to continue to do that. In my first year or so of practicing meditation, I do two sessions of meditation, one in the morning and one either before dinner or before sleep. In other words, I understand the good things that come with meditating before sleep. Yet, in recent years, I only meditate in the morning only. Do you want to hear about the pros and cons of meditating before sleep. Of course this is a subjective topic but it almost never hurts to hear opinion from someone who has actual experience in the subject of interest.
Let’s Talk about the Good Things
Without a question, meditation is a very useful tool that can help clear your mind. In the surface, it makes a lot of sense to meditate as much as possible. In reality, it is really not the case and let’s explore the good things and the bad things. From my experience, there are quite a lot of good things that come with meditating before sleep. These benefits are actually quite noticeable.
Good Thing #1: Having Your Mind Clear is Almost Always Good
With a clear mind, you can think more clearly and rationally. It doesn’t matter whether it is day or night, having a clear mind is almost always good. Therefore, meditating before sleep, before dinner, or before breakfast, etc. As long as you are not doing too much meditation which can cause you headache (more on this later), practicing meditation and having a clear mind is good regardless of the time you do it.
Good Thing #2: Reduce Your Stress
In today’s culture, we tend to have a lot of stress from work. It is ideal not to have more stress carried forward to the next day. Meditation is a tool for clearing your mind and that automatically makes it a tool for reducing stress. Think about it, having a clear mind can make you think rationally and allow you to see problems no bigger than they are supposed to be. If you are one of those who have work in a high stress environment, it is ideal to meditate before you sleep. In fact, meditating before you go to work can also help you handle things more calmly at work and that’s a very good way to reduce your stress from work too.
Good Thing #3: Reduce Stress-Caused Body Soreness
There are numbers of benefits for having your stress reduced. One pretty noticeable benefit is that some of back pain, should pain or soreness in other parts of your body that are caused by stress can be largely reduced. Although studies have shown that stress and body soreness has a lot of correlation, we don’t really need all those science to see that it is real. Have you ever had a super busy and stressful work day and after you have get thru the tough day, you feel pain and tightness in the whole shoulder and neck area. I bet it happens to a lot of people all the time.
Good Thing #4: Better Sleep Quality
Sleep quality also has a lot to do with stress. With less stress, you have two benefits that are related to sleep. First, you can more easily or quickly fall asleep, which many people take it for granted but shouldn’t. Second, you can sleep deeper, meaning the same eight hours of sleep you get can refresh your body and mind better than the eight hours of sleep for another person who cannot sleep as deeply. Diet and sleep are probably the two most important things for keeping you healthy and happy. Now, with minimal stress, you can one of the two keys taken care of.
There are Really No Obvious Cons, It’s All About Needs
You may expect that to be a cons vs pros kind of blog post but it really is not. There isn’t really any cons about meditation before sleep. I don’t meditate before I sleep only because I don’t see the need of doing it.
For Some People, 10 Minutes of Meditation a Day is Enough
In economics, there is something that is called the law of diminishing return. That simply means if you do a certain task too much or for too long, you will reach a point where you will see no additional benefit. For myself, may be it is because that I don’t have a super busy life, I figure that I only need 10 minutes of meditation every morning to keep my mind pretty clear. You really have to experiment a little bit to see your optimal amount of daily meditation.
Too Much Meditation Can Cause Headache
For some people, having too much meditation can cause headache. The textbook answer of the optimal daily amount of meditation is 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes before dinner or before sleep. It is a good reference but the true answer is different for everyone. Some people may argue that there are many monks who meditate for hours a day. My answer is that of course there are people who can do that but that doesn’t necessarily has to be someone who has a 9 to 5 job like many of us. For myself, I would start feeling headache if I meditate for more than 30 minutes in one single session.
In conclusion, having meditation before sleep is good. As long as you are not meditating too much that may cause you headache, it is recommended for you to do it. For myself though, since I live a relatively calm and poise life, I find that only meditating for 10 minutes every morning works better for me. It’s not that meditating before doesn’t give me any benefit, it is just that the additional benefit is too marginal that I would rather have a few minutes of extra sleep.