Sleep Changes Due to Mindfulness Meditation

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Sleep Changes Due to Mindfulness Meditation

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that insufficient sleep is a public health problem (Lichtenstein, 2015). According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (as cited in Lichtenstein, 2015), people with sleep deficiency have a greater risk of many health complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Sleep disturbance is a chronic health concern due to the consequences on the life of an individual.

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Does mindfulness meditation have a form of impact on one’s sleep quality? Mindfulness meditation can be characterized as a form of a mental training, which helps improve focus. It involves your own thoughts and emotions in a present moment. People practice mindfulness meditation for their own personal benefits due to its inclusivity of one’s mental state of mind as well as the physical aspect. It can be done in different methods and can be a universal practice.

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness is characterized by a nonjudgmental awareness of and attention to moment-by-moment cognition, emotion, and sensation without fixation on thoughts of past and future (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). Mindfulness meditation includes the breathing and practicing techniques that will allow a mind clearing, as well as becoming aware of one’s body and mind. It is not just a mental training but also helps with muscle and body relaxation which has its own benefits. A recent research study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital (as cited in American Medical Technologists, 2016) finding that mindfulness meditation, over the short period of eight weeks, increased the amount of gray matter in regions of the brain involved in learning and memory, regulation of one’s emotions, and self-awareness. It is important to recognize that mindfulness meditation does not affiliate with any form of belief or religion. It is a universal practice that anyone can uphold and learn it just has more to do with personal preference. There is no need to have to be trained in or practice meditation when one wants to be mindful. Becoming mindful has its own benefits of promoting emotional health and enhancing self-awareness.

Mindfulness Meditation and Pain

Mindfulness meditation has been identified to reduce pain have benefits in clinical settings, as well as experimental. Research has shown that sleeping poorly can lead to a problem dealing with chronic pain, which then has its impact on daily tasks. Within a spectrum of chronic pain conditions, mindfulness meditation has reportedly reduced pain for people just with a matter of moderate changes. An example can be how Buddhist monks have found that mindfulness meditation has had a significant benefit for their experience with pain. Mindfulness meditation–based interventions improve pain symptomology across a wide spectrum of pain?related disorders, including fibromyalgia, migraine, chronic pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and other conditions (Zeidan & Vago, 2016). There was a study that reported 287 chronic patients, and 89% of them would deal with disrupted sleep. The 8?week mindfulness?based stress reduction program has discovered varies of approaches that dealt with the treatment of chronic pain. In a seminal study, it was disclosed that in the condition of chronic patients, there were progress in quality of life and in pain symptomology. Which was due to completing the mindfulness-based stress reduction program, these improvements were continued even after a 3-year follow up. What is taken away is that mindfulness meditation has helped people who have dealt with chronic pain, which had allowed them to have a fuller night’s rest.
Sleep consist of more than just a rest to your body and mind. It is a key component in how we live our lives, since sleep plays a significant role in how we feel not only physically and mentally. According to the National Sleep Foundation, (as cited from Lichenstein,2015) which updated its sleep recommendations earlier this year, young adults and adults should receive 7 to 9 hours of sleep but not less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours or 11 hours. There have been studies that demonstrate that relaxing your body and mind can ameliorate sleep, with including meditation regularly.

Mindfulness Meditation and Insomnia

Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia (Ong et al., 2014). 54 adults who suffer from chronic insomnia. An eight-week self-monitoring study, randomized participants in either a mindfulness-based stress reduction or mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia. The way the reports came about were by self-reported sleep diaries. The patients would record their total wake time as well as their pre-sleep arousal scale. This would then correlate with how chronic a patient’s insomnia was. After a 3-month follow-up there was a significant improvement measured. The models of the results would then show how receiving interventions that were meditation-based had greater benefits to patients dealing with sleep disturbances. In a more elaborate manner, there was a decrease in total wake time, the participants were able to sleep for a longer time without waking up with the help of mindfulness meditation. The sleep measures showed that monitoring sleep time, as well as, wake time allowed the participants to be aware of how mindfulness meditation improved their sleep quality.

Insomnia is a widespread and debilitating condition that affects sleep quality and daily productivity (Gong, Ni, Lui, Zhang, Su, Lian, Peng, & Jiang, 2016). These analyses have revealed to us that there has been an overall effect of improved wake time and sleep quality due to mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation has provided a form of aid for one’s sleep quality. The form of relaxation not only ameliorates one’s mind but also enhances the physical perspective of it. These results suggest to us that mindfulness meditation can improve sleep parameters in patients that deal with insomnia. Mindfulness meditation can serve as an auxiliary treatment to medication for sleep complaints (Gong et al., 2016).

Mindfulness Meditation and improvements

When people incorporate new tasks into their routine it can become embedded in them where these habits will become second nature. Creating new habits will require self?control to be maintained for a significant period before the desired behaviours acquire the necessary automaticity to be performed without self?control (Lally, Van Jaarsveld, Potts, & Wardle, 2009). A mind and body harmony can be attained due to meditation practices that help to condition brain functions in various ways. Mindfulness meditation has been beneficial in many cases and there has been evidence that it improves one’s sleep quality. Theoretically, as individuals engender deeper states of mindfulness during meditation, they develop a greater tendency to exhibit mindful attitudes and behaviors outside of meditation, in the context of daily life (Kiken,2014).

Problem Statement and Research Question

Mindfulness meditation has shown many benefits to people’s sleep quality. There although may be many questions that need to be answered. Most of these studies included mediators with experience. So, we fail to know whether it has to be practiced for a while then will be able to see a difference in sleep, or if you see immediate results. It is important to be able to incorporate log sleep, even if it is a complicated task to do. Tracking how much sleep you are getting is an important responsibility, so you are able to see changes over time. Practicing mindfulness meditation is a learning process or more so preferability which may influence one’s sleep quality.  

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