Meditation helps improve sleep quality, lifestyle

New York: Regular meditation may improve sleep quality and also prevent insomnia among the older people, finds new research.

Mindfulness meditation practices - in which people learn to pay better attention to what they are feeling physically and mentally from moment to moment -- resulted in improved sleep quality for older adults with moderate sleep disturbance in a clinical trial.

"According to our findings, mindfulness meditation appears to have a role in addressing the prevalent burden of sleep problems among older adults," said David Black from University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

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Moderate sleep disturbances in older adults are associated with higher levels of fatigue, disturbed mood such as depressive symptoms and a reduced quality of life.

The researchers conducted the small clinical trial in Los Angeles in 2012 and their analysis included 49 individuals (average age 66).

The trial included 24 individuals who took part in a standardised mindful awareness practices (MAPs) intervention and 25 individuals who participated in a sleep hygiene education (SHE) intervention.

Participants in the MAPs group showed improvement compared to those in the SHE group.

The MAPs group also showed improvement as compared to the SHE group on secondary measures of symptoms of insomnia, depression, fatigue interference and its severity.

The article was published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

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