Effects of meditation on sleep in chronic insomnia

Meditation may be an effective behavioral intervention in the treatment of insomnia, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Tuesday, June 9, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies

Results indicate that patients saw improvements in subjective sleep quality and sleep diary parameters while practicing meditation. Sleep latency, total sleep time, total wake time, wake after sleep onset, sleep efficiency, sleep quality and depression improved in patients who used meditation.

According to principal investigator Ramadevi Gourineni, MD, director of the insomnia program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Evanston, Ill., 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.

The study gathered data from 11 healthy subjects between the ages of 25 and 45 years with chronic primary insomnia. Participants were divided into two intervention groups for two months: Kriya Yoga (a form of meditation that is used to focus internalized attention and has been shown to reduce measures of arousal) and health education. Subjective measures of sleep and depression were collected 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 annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of 6,000 leading researchers and clinicians in the field of sleep medicine to present and discuss new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders.

More than 1,300 research abstracts will be presented at the SLEEP meeting, a joint venture of the AASM and the Sleep Research Society. The three-and-a-half-day scientific meeting will bring to light new findings that enhance the understanding of the processes of sleep and aid the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.

Abstract Title: Effects of Meditation on Sleep in Individuals with Chronic Insomnia
Presentation Date: Tuesday, June 9
Category: Insomnia
Abstract ID: 0874

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