How Meditation Class Disrupted My Sleep

The sun was setting as I parked my car in the lot. As I walked in the front door, bright lights in the hallway flooded my eyes. It was 7:15pm on a Sunday. I entered the mediation room where the lighting was much dimmer, but still brighter than what I’m used to this time of night.

At 7:15pm every night, my kids are tucked in and I sit by the glow of a salt lamp, a candle and a dim light in my bed, with chakra music playing as I do my gratitude list, massage my feet with lavender oil, and then read. It’s my dreamy bedtime routine.

Going to a meditation group seemed like a perfect swap. But, it was not.

As I exited the class, I covered my eyes and tried to leave without letting the bright lights in. I mostly succeeded. But then, on the drive home one set of headlights after another flooded my face with white light.

Why does this matter?

Because my body is used to producing melatonin (sleep hormone) at this time of night. These bright lights interfered with that mechanism and I know this because I was more wakeful when sleeping that night than I usually am. On a typical night I sleep right through the night for nine hours. Some nights I wake up once to pee. I almost always sleep until 6am when my four year old wakes me up each morning.

But, the next morning I woke up at 5:30am and felt slightly off that day. Early risings happen when our bodies are thrown off rhythm. It took me a couple more days to get back on rhythm again.

The meditation class wasn’t the problem though. It was the lighting. In the building and on the road. For me, it wasn’t worth the lost sleep.

The moral of the story is — turn your lights low and stay off the roads at least an hour before bedtime. Your body and brain will thank you.

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

Originally Published on




I’m a fitness writer, editor and educator. I love living in the mountains of Montana with my husband, son and two pups.

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Beverly Hosford

Beverly Hosford

I’m a fitness writer, editor and educator. I love living in the mountains of Montana with my husband, son and two pups.

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