Mindfulness meditation the key to better sleep

Mindfulness meditation the key to better sleep

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New research recommends mindfulness meditation for a better night’s sleep.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, mindfulness meditation may be just the thing you need to nod-off according to new research out of the US.

Published in the JAMA Internal Medicine the study involved a small group of adults over 55 years of age who either followed a mindfulness meditation program or a more structured sleep hygiene program that involved things like changing poor sleep habits and establishing a bedtime routine.

For both groups the programs involved a 2 hour weekly group session for 6 weeks with similarly matched ‘homework assignments’.

Mindfulness and sleep

What the researchers found was that the mindfulness group reported less sleep disturbances, improved sleep, better mood and more energy compared to the sleep hygiene group.

However, there were no differences in anxiety and stress, which were seen to decrease in both groups.

The authors concluded that “Mindfulness meditation appears to have a role in addressing the prevalent burden of sleep problems among older adults by remediating their moderate sleep disturbances and deficits in daytime functioning.”

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What is mindfulness?

For the study purposes mindfulness involved a number of things including sitting meditation, mindful eating, loving-kindness meditation, ad mindful movement to name a few.

According to Dr Elise Bialylew, founder of MIndful in May “Mindfulness is a simple, yet challenging discipline of noticing what you are doing when you are doing it and becoming master, rather than slave, to the impulses of your mind.”

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Are you getting enough sleep?

According to the Sleep Health Foundation 20 to 35% of Australians are not getting enough sleep and are experiencing:
  • Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability

Sources
JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 16, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8081
MJA 199 (8) · 21 October 2013


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