How Much Time Do I Need to Meditate?

An alarm clock
An alarm Clock

It’s becoming more and more accepted that time dedicated to meditating, such as MBSR and MBCT, are beneficial, but we don’t know if the duration that a meditation session lasts significantly impacts the benefits one can receive . 

There is evidence to suggest that a 45-minute session will produce results, but whether a longer or shorter session works better is up for debate.

Why 45-minute meditation sessions?

Of the 4 studies we looked into, most of the researchers found positive correlations from groups who were assigned 2 ½ hour weekly group sessions and 45-minute daily meditations. These meditations were based on an 8-week MBSR course and resulted in significant improvements in areas such as respiratory infections, smoking cessation, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic insomnia.

Could Shorter Sessions Still Work?

Do shorter meditation sessions work? If you want to try your luck at a 3 minute sessions you can practice here. 

Although people were prescribed 45-minute daily meditation sessions in these research studies – there is no research on the minimum session one needs to get results. It could be that that people may get results at just a minute of meditating, 30 minutes or maybe an hour or longer.

All we know from the studies is: that practice of some sort should yield results.

Are you ready to start meditating?

Check out our online course and get started on introductory meditation lessons

References:

Barrett B, Hayney MS, Muller D, et al. Meditation or exercise for preventing acute respiratory infection: a randomized controlled trial. Annals of Family Medicine. 2012;10:337–346.

Brewer JA, Mallik S, Babuscio TA, et al. Mindfulness training for smoking cessation: results from a randomized controlled trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2011;119(1–2):72–80.

Fang CY, Reibel DK, Longacre ML, et al. Enhanced psychosocial well-being following participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program is associated with increased natural killer cell activity. Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2010;16(5):531–538.

Gaylord SA, Palsson OS, Garland EL, et al. Mindfulness training reduces the severity of irritable bowel syndrome in women: results of a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;106(9):1678–1688.