The Correlation Between Mindfulness and Insomnia

Insomnia is a common disorder where patients may struggle to either fall asleep or stay asleep. Insomnia can either be long-term (chronic), or short term (acute.) Major causes of insomnia include:

  • Stress
  • Alcohol, drug, and caffeine intake
  • Mental ilnesses such as anxiety and depression
  • Age
  • Chronic pain     

One of the best ways to treat insomnia is through a mindfulness approach. Mindfulness is the ability to bring one's awareness back to their surroundings. Mindfulness Stress Based Reduction has been studied for over 30 years, and has been proven effective in treating stress and anxiety, enhancing health, and improving concentration.

In a 2015 study done by Jama Internal Medicine, 49 middle age to older adults who had struggles with insomnia were placed into two groups. The first group used a Mindfulness Stress Based Reduction approach daily for twenty minutes, whereas the second group was placed in a sleeping class. At the end of the experiment, the researchers found that those in the first group had less insomnia and fatigue than those in the first group.

Why does mindfulness treat insomnia? One of the biggest causes of insomnia is stress and anxiety. Mindfulness brings the body into a state of peace, rest, and relaxation, which the body needs to feel in order to have proper rest. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, and even yoga are great ways to treat insomnia.

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