Meditation may help treat insomnia

June 9th, 2009 - 6:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 9 (ANI): Meditation could prove to be the ideal behavioural intervention to treat insomnia, according to a study.

The new findings suggest that while practicing meditation, patients experienced improvements in subjective sleep quality and sleep diary parameters.

Meditation even improved sleep latency, total sleep time, total wake time, wake after sleep onset, sleep efficiency, sleep quality, and depression in patients.

Principal investigator Dr. Ramadevi Gourineni, director of the insomnia program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Evanston, Ill., said that insomnia is believed to be a 24-hour problem of hyperarousal, and elevated measures of arousals are seen throughout the day.

“Results of the study show that teaching deep relaxation techniques during the daytime can help improve sleep at night,” said Gourineni.

For their study, the researchers collected data from 11 healthy subjects between the ages of 25 and 45 years with chronic primary insomnia.

They divided the participants into two intervention groups for two months-Kriya Yoga (a form of meditation that is used to focus internalised attention and has been shown to reduce measures of arousal) and health education.

The researchers also gathered subjective measures of sleep and depression at baseline and after the two-month period.

Both groups received sleep hygiene education. Members of the health education group also received information about health-related topics and how to improve health through exercise, nutrition, weight loss and stress management.

The findings of the study will be presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. (ANI)

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