Practising mindfulness meditation can help improve sleep quality in aged people, says a new study.
Failure to get a good night's sleep can invite several health problems during old age, including depressive symptoms, fatigue and poor quality of sleep.
Mindfulness meditation is an ancient Buddhist practice known to help improve focus, patience, compassion and ability to accept.
Spending a few hours for practising mindfulness meditation has been known to provide unlimited health benefits. Research has shown that mindfulness meditation can help improve mental health; working memory and language skills in children.
As part of the study, 49 people aged around 66, were assigned to either a standardised mindful awareness practices (MAPs) intervention (24) or a sleep hygiene education (SHE) intervention (25) for a period of six weeks.
Questionnaires were used to measure sleep quality in the participants.
People who participated in the mindfulness-based intervention reported a reduction in sleep disturbances than people who participated in the sleep hygiene intervention.
Both depressive and insomnia symptoms; fatigue interference and severity went down in people enrolled in the mindfulness meditation programme.
All the participants, irrespective of the intervention programme they took part, experienced a reduction in anxiety, stress and inflammatory signalling.
"Formalized mindfulness-based interventions have clinical importance by possibly serving to remediate sleep problems among older adults in the short term, and this effect appears to carry over into reducing sleep-related daytime impairment that has implications for quality of life," the authors wrote, while concluding their study.
Findings of the study have been reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.