Meditative Yoga Effective Treatment for Insomnia

Irregular and insufficient sleeping schedules have been linked to numerous health concerns, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and dementia. A recent study has concluded that practicing daytime deep relaxation techniques, namely meditation, greatly helps limit incidence of insomnia, potentially helping decrease risk of developing these above conditions.

The study, conducted on 11 “chronic insomnia” patients, between 25 and 45 years of age, and in otherwise good health, concluded that these individuals insomnia was a result of 24-hour “hyperarousal,” which supports past research along these lines. This means that difficulty sleeping at night is usually a result of daytime stress, or arousal.

It was hypothesized that helping insomniacs relax during the day would greatly enhance the quality and quantity of their sleep at night. The two months study showed that participants who practiced daily Kriva Yoga, a form of meditation, during the day, greatly improved their “sleep latency, total sleep time, total wake time, wake after sleep onset, sleep efficiency, sleep quality,” as well as improving their general moods while awake.

Because insomnia is a result of stress and arousal, it is a psychological problem with the potential for simple and natural treatment. It is also a dangerous condition that can lead to more severe medical conditions if it is chronic. Study author Dr. Ramadevi Gourineni extends his team’s findings more generally, concluding that “Results of the study show that teaching deep relaxation techniques during the daytime can help improve sleep at night.”

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Gourineni, Ramadevi. Wagner, Kelly. American Academy of Sleep Medicine news release. June 2009.

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