Scientifically Proven Benefit of Mindfulness Training
After Only 8 Weeks
Most of us are familiar with how it feels when we've had a bad nights' sleep.
But when one night is followed by another and another and leads to insomnia it can leave us feeling absolutely awful, and can have a really detrimental effect on our health & happiness.
Recent research has linked inadequate sleep to weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, Alzheimer's disease, depression and anxiety.
Matthew Walker neuroscientist and sleep expert at the University of California, Berkeley, says that
"Adults aged 45 years or older who sleep fewer than 6 hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime, compared with those sleeping 7–8 hours a night".
"An estimated 30–50% of the population will experience insomnia symptoms at some point in their lives, and in the UK insomnia rates steadily rise with age". Pharmaceutical Journal, July 2018
Research shows that Therapeutic Mindfulness is a successful treatment for insomnia and aids restful sleep generally.
It can retrain the brain towards breaking the habit of thinking and thinking, churning over past events, and fantasising about the future that prevent a good night's sleep.
It is possible, with mindfulness training to stop this run-away mindstate, to let go and allow sleep to emerge, night after night.
Recent research has linked
This study concluded that insufficient sleep alters established cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure, glucose metabolism, hormonal regulation and inflammation in a direction that is known to increase the risk of cardiac morbidity.
A broad systematic review and meta-analysis (analysing 27 previous studies) to quantify the effect of sleep problems/disorders on cognitive impairment and AD.
This meta-analysis confirmed the association between sleep and cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's Disease (AD).
This study concluded that sleep deprivation among individuals without current anxiety disorders increases both state symptoms of anxiety and depression specifically, and general distress more broadly.
Successful treatment for insomnia
In this review of randomised controlled studies of mindfulness training using both patient reported outcome and quantitative measures of sleep the scientists concluded that mindfulness meditation together with mindfulness training can be successfully used for the treatment of insomnia with good patient acceptance and durable results.
Results showed an overall reduction in the time it takes to get to sleep, a reduction in total wake time and an increase in total sleep time after mindfulness therapy.
A randomised clinical trial involved a group of 49 participants who undertook 6 weeks of mindfulness training (2 hours per week) compared with another group that took 6 weeks of a sleep education programme.
The mindful participants recorded an improved sleep score significantly greater than of their counterparts who were taught sleep improvement habits.
The scientists concluded that "Formalized mindfulness-based interventions have clinical importance".
Insomnia, is defined as a persistent difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, or quality, which occurs despite adequate opportunity for sleep, and results in some form of daytime impairment.
It is diagnosed on the basis of this difficulty occurring at least three times a week and having been present for at least the previous three months.
Individuals with insomnia tend to feel fatigue but they do not feel sleepy.