Mindfulness Training Improves Sleep Quality; Lessens Need for Sleep Medicines

August 1, 2009 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

Stressed-out people sleep better and take sleep medication less often when they learn to let go of intrusive thoughts, according to researchers at Duke Integrative Medicine.

Their data shows participants who took an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction course reported less trouble sleeping through the night, and also less sleepiness during the day. This is the first study to document several positive effects of mindfulness training on sleep quality in a group of generally healthy, but stressed, individuals.

“When we don’t know what to do with intrusive and persistent thoughts, the mind and body feel threatened, says Jeff Greeson, PhD, MS, a clinical health psychologist at Duke who presented his preliminary results at the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

Greeson’s study followed 151 adults, three-quarters of whom were women, who underwent eight weeks of MBSR training. He validated improvements in sleep quality using a nationally recognized sleep quality scale — The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

Statistically significant improvements were noted in overall sleep quality (26 percent), sleep disturbances, i.e., waking up at night and feeling uncomfortable (16 percent), frequency of using prescription or over-the-counter sleep medications (25 percent), and improvements in experiencing sleepiness during the day (28 percent).

Greeson’s research is part of a larger study on mindfulness funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. His work will continue to research the effects of the MBSR program first developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts 30 years ago. That program is now taught by trained professionals throughout the country.

By Duke Medicine News and Communications:  http://www.dukehealth.org/HealthLibrary/News/mindfulness_training_improves_sleep_quality_lessens_need_for_sleep_medicines?utm_source=dukehealth.org&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS_news

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