Meditation for a Good Night’s Sleep – NYTimes.com

Meditation for a Good Night’s Sleep – NYTimes.com

Meditation for a Good Night’s Sleep

Do you have chronic sleep problems? You may be able to significantly improve your ability to get a restful night of sleep by practicing a popular form of meditation, a rigorous new study shows.

The findings may be particularly relevant to Americans older that 55, about half of whom have some form of sleep trouble. The research, a clinical trial ”published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, recruited about 50 older adults with moderate sleep problems and assigned them to follow one of two programs.

In one group, the adults learned behaviors that could help them develop good sleep hygiene, like establishing a regular bedtime routine and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed. The other group underwent a six-week program on mindfulness meditation — the nonjudgmental awareness of the thoughts and feelings drifting through one’s mind — led by a certified teacher.

At the end of the yearlong study, the people who learned the mindfulness approach had greater improvements in sleep quality and fewer symptoms of insomnia, depression and fatigue than those who received standard care.