Improve Psychological Well-Being in the Elderly with Mild Memory Loss with Meditation

Improve Psychological Well-Being in the Elderly with Mild Memory Loss with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the answers we’re looking for when it comes to ending memory loss could be gained by simply doing KK for 12 minutes each morning? Perhaps that magic bullet is already here, waiting to be discovered in each and every one of us after all. Now, wouldn’t that be grand?” – Dharma Singh Khalsa

 

The aging process involves a systematic progressive decline in every system in the body, the brain included. It cannot be avoided. Our mental abilities may also decline with age including impairments in memory, attention, and problem solving ability. These are called age related cognitive decline. This occurs to everyone as they age, but to varying degrees. Some deteriorate into a dementia, while others maintain high levels of cognitive capacity into very advanced ages. It is estimated that around 30% of the elderly show significant age related cognitive decline. These cognitive declines markedly increase the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. The declines occur along with sleep disruptions declines in mental health and quality of life, which in turn, appear to exacerbate the decline.

 

There is some hope, however, for those who are prone to deterioration as there is evidence that these cognitive declines can be slowed. For example, a healthy diet and a regular program of exercise can slow the physical decline of the body with aging. Also, contemplative practices such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi or qigong have all been shown to be beneficial in slowing or delaying physical and mental decline with aging. Indeed, mindfulness practices reduce the deterioration of the brain that occurs with aging restraining the loss of neural tissue.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of Meditation versus Music Listening on Perceived Stress, Mood, Sleep, and Quality of Life in Adults with Early Memory Loss: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5649740/ ), Innes and colleagues recruited community living adults over 50 years of age and experiencing memory problems and slight cognitive decline. They were randomly assigned to 12-week, 12 minutes per day, programs of classical music listening or Kirtan Kriya meditation, performed while sitting comfortably with eyes closed. At the first session the participants received 35-minute instruction on relaxation and their specific program and then provided DVDs for daily home practice. Kirtan Kriya meditation included signing a mantra, successive finger touching and visualization exercises. After the 12 weeks of practice participants were free to continue practicing if they wished. They were measured before and after the 12-week programs and 14 weeks later for body size, sleep quality, perceived stress, health-related quality of life, psychological well-being, mood, memory, and cognitive performance.

 

Retention and participation were high, with 92% of the music listening participants and 88% of the meditation participants completing the program. Participants completed 93% of the required session and 73% of the optional sessions during the second 14-week period. This indicates that the participants found the programs enjoyable and worth their time and effort.

 

Over the 12-week program, both groups showed significant improvements in sleep quality, perceived stress, health-related quality of life, psychological well-being, and mood. These improvements were either sustained or further improved over the subsequent 14 weeks. The meditation group had significantly greater improvements than the music listening group in perceived stress, mood, psychological well-being, and mental health quality of life. In addition, the greater the improvements in mood, stress, sleep, well-being, and quality of life, the greater the improvements in memory function. Hence, the two forms of relaxation produced improvements in the participants well-being which were related to improvements in memory. But, meditation had a greater impact then music listening.

 

These results are quite remarkable that such simple practices for only 12 minutes per day can have such profound effects on the well-being of aging individuals with slight cognitive decline. This could potentially delay of lower the likelihood that the decline will continue into dementia of Alzheimer’s Disease. It is important that the effects were lasting and participation high, both of which suggest that the meditation program can be easily and inexpensively applied to large groups of community-based aging individuals.

 

So, improve psychological well-being in the elderly with mild memory loss with meditation

 

“Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can affect up to 20% of the population at any one time—and half of them will progress to full-on dementia. Now, a recent study . . .  finds as little as 15 minutes of daily meditation can significantly slow that progression.” – Nina Elias

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Innes, K. E., Selfe, T. K., Khalsa, D. S., & Kandati, S. (2016). Effects of Meditation versus Music Listening on Perceived Stress, Mood, Sleep, and Quality of Life in Adults with Early Memory Loss: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease : JAD, 52(4), 1277–1298. http://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-151106

 

Abstract

Background

Older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) are at increased risk not only for Alzheimer’s disease, but for poor mental health, impaired sleep, and diminished quality of life (QOL), which in turn, contribute to further cognitive decline, highlighting the need for early intervention.

Objective

In this randomized controlled trial, we assessed the effects of two 12-week relaxation programs, Kirtan Kriya Meditation (KK) and music listening (ML), on perceived stress, sleep, mood, and health-related QOL in older adults with SCD.

Methods

Sixty community-dwelling older adults with SCD were randomized to a KK or ML program and asked to practice 12 minutes daily for 12 weeks, then at their discretion for the following 3 months. At baseline, 12 weeks, and 26 weeks, perceived stress, mood, psychological well-being, sleep quality, and health-related QOL were measured using well-validated instruments.

Results

Fifty-three participants (88%) completed the 6-month study. Participants in both groups showed significant improvement at 12 weeks in psychological well-being and in multiple domains of mood and sleep quality (p’s ≤ 0.05). Relative to ML, those assigned to KK showed greater gains in perceived stress, mood, psychological well-being, and QOL-Mental Health (p’s ≤ 0.09). Observed gains were sustained or improved at 6 months, with both groups showing marked and significant improvement in all outcomes. Changes were unrelated to treatment expectancies.

Conclusions

Findings suggest that practice of a simple meditation or ML program may improve stress, mood, well-being, sleep, and QOL in adults with SCD, with benefits sustained at 6 months and gains that were particularly pronounced in the KK group.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5649740/

Improve Sleep with Diabetes with Yoga

Improve Sleep with Diabetes with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“yoga stimulates the organs which in turn improves metabolic activities. This means that the chemical transformations within a cell are carried out more efficiently. This makes it a highly beneficial exercise for those suffering from diabetes” – Aruna Rathod Panvell

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States and nearly 600 million people worldwide have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type II Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. In addition, diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Unlike Type I Diabetes, Type II does not require insulin injections. Instead, the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes focuses on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. A mindfulness practice that combines mindfulness with exercise is yoga and it has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effect of yoga and aerobics exercise on sleep quality in women with Type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5612039/ ), Ebrahimi and colleagues recruited adult women with diabetes and randomly assigned them to a 12-week program of yoga practice, running on a treadmill, or a control condition. Yoga consisted of postures, breathing exercises and relaxation and was practiced for 90 minutes three times per week while running on a treadmill was practiced for 30 minutes 3 times per week. They were measured before, at 6 weeks, and after training for sleep quality.

 

They found that yoga but not either running or the control condition produced a significant improvement in sleep quality at 6-weeks and at the end of training. The improvements included decreased time to fall asleep, longer duration of sleep, greater sleep efficiency, fewer sleep medications and sleep disturbances, and better daytime function. Hence, participation in yoga practice was found to markedly improve sleep in diabetic women.

 

It is suspected, but nor established, that the improvements in sleep improve the quality of life with diabetes. The fact that aerobic exercise did not produce similar improvements suggests that it was the mindfulness component and not the exercise component of yoga practice that was responsible for the improvements. It is known that mindfulness practices improve sleep and diabetes. It remains for future research to establish the causal connections between the two effects of mindfulness.

 

So, improve sleep with diabetes with yoga.

 

“Regular practice of yoga does reduce blood sugar levels, the blood pressure, weight, the rate of progression to the complications, and the severity of the complications as well. The symptoms are also reduced to a great extent, so are number of diabetes related hospital admissions.”Sujit Chandratreya

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ebrahimi, M., Guilan-Nejad, T. N., & Pordanjani, A. F. (2017). Effect of yoga and aerobics exercise on sleep quality in women with Type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial. Sleep Science, 10(2), 68–72. http://doi.org/10.5935/1984-0063.20170012

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was investigating the effect of 12 weeks of yoga and aerobic exercise (running on a treadmill) on the sleep quality in women with Type 2 diabetes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

39 diabetic women were selected from Semnan city with the mean age of 46.85±3.35 years, weight of 69.79±17.18 kg, height of 155.03±5.00, BMI of 29.64±5.00 kg/m2 who had a background of diabetes for 6.46±2.69 years. They were then randomly divided into yoga exercise (n=15), aerobic exercise (n=13), and control group (n=11). The exercise program was performed for 12 weeks, three sessions per each week. In order to measure the sleep quality, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used. The data were analyzed by non-parametric wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis Test at significance level of p<0.05.

RESULTS

Overall score of sleep quality improved after six (p=0.001) and 12 (p=0.001) weeks of yoga exercise. Also, significant effect was observed after 6 weeks of aerobic exercise (p=0.039). However, the positive effect was diminished to under significant levels after 12 weeks of aerobic exercise (p=0.154). Kruskal-Wallis Test showed significant differences between yoga and aerobic groups after 12 weeks of exercise (p=0.002). No significant differences were observed in control groups in all situation.

CONCLUSIONS

It can be concluded that yoga exercise is more effective in improving the sleep quality in comparison with the same course of aerobic exercise in women suffering from diabetes Type 2. Thus, yoga exercise can be suggested to these patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5612039/

Improve Sleep with Tai Chi

Improve Sleep with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Tai chi, a lifestyle intervention that targets stress that can lead to insomnia, was also found to reduce inflammation, and did so by reducing the expression of inflammation at the cellular level and by reversing activation of inflammatory signaling pathways.” – Science Daily

 

It is estimated that over half of Americans sleep too little due to stress. As a result, people today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago. Not having a good night’s sleep has adverse effects upon the individual’s health, well-being, and happiness. Yet over 70 million Americans suffer from disorders of sleep and about half of these have a chronic disorder. It has been estimated that about 4% of Americans revert to sleeping pills. But, these do not always produce high quality sleep and can have problematic side effects. So, there is a need to find better methods to improve sleep. Mindfulness-based practices have been reported to improve sleep amount and quality. In addition, exercise has been shown to improve sleep.

 

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mindfulness practices involving slow prescribed movements. They are gentle and completely safe, can be used with the elderly and sickly, is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility or even public park, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can also be practiced in social groups without professional supervision. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice. Since Tai Chi and Qigong are both mindfulness practices and exercises, they may be effective treatments to improve sleep.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tai Chi Improves Sleep Quality in Healthy Adults and Patients with Chronic Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5570448/, Raman and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the ability of Tai Chi practice to improve sleep quality. They found 11 published studies, 9 of which were randomized controlled trials.

 

They reported that the research demonstrated that Tai Chi practice significantly improves both self-report and objective measures of sleep quality in a variety of people with and without illness. The improvements included decreases in the time to go to sleep and the use of sleeping pills and increases in sleep duration. No significant negative side effects were reported. Hence, Tai Chi practice appears to be a safe and effective treatment to improve sleep in both well and sickly people.

 

These are exciting and important findings that support the use of Tai Chi practice for the improvement in sleep. The mechanism by which Tai Chi practice produces sleep improvement is not known. The ability of mindfulness practices to reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress may remove this obstacle to a good night’s sleep and thereby improve sleep. Regardless, it is clear that Tai Chi practice may be a solution to the chronic sleep problems experienced by many.

 

So, improve sleep with Tai Chi.

 

“The practice of Chi Gong can be used as a spiritual aid to help connect with a higher power, which can provide comfort and peace for those having difficulty sleeping. Even for individuals who are not spiritual, the mental, emotional and physical benefits are worth the effort in order to obtain restful sleep.” – Sifu Romain

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Raman, G., Zhang, Y., Minichiello, V. J., D’Ambrosio, C. M., & Wang, C. (2013). Tai Chi Improves Sleep Quality in Healthy Adults and Patients with Chronic Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy, 2(6), 141. http://doi.org/10.4172/2167-0277.1000141

 

Abstract

Background

Physical activity and exercise appear to improve sleep quality. However, the quantitative effects of Tai Chi on sleep quality in the adult population have rarely been examined. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the effects of Tai Chi on sleep quality in healthy adults and disease populations.

Methods

Medline, Cochrane Central databases, and review of references were searched through July 31, 2013. English-language studies of all designs evaluating Tai Chi’s effect on sleep outcomes in adults were examined. Data were extracted and verified by 2 reviewers. Extracted information included study setting and design, population characteristics, type and duration of interventions, outcomes, risk of bias and main results. Random effect models meta-analysis was used to assess the magnitude of treatment effect when at least 3 trials reported on the same sleep outcomes.

Results

Eleven studies (9 randomized and 2 non-randomized trials) totaling 994 subjects published between 2004 and 2012 were identified. All studies except one reported Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index. Nine randomized trials reported that 1.5 to 3 hour each week for a duration of 6 to 24 weeks of Tai Chi significantly improved sleep quality (Effect Size, 0.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28 to 1.50), in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Improvement in health outcomes including physical performance, pain reduction, and psychological well-being occurred in the Tai Chi group compared with various controls.

Limitations

Studies were heterogeneous and some trials were lacking in methodological rigor.

Conclusions

Tai Chi significantly improved sleep quality in both healthy adults and patients with chronic health conditions, which suggests that Tai Chi may be considered as an alternative behavioral therapy in the treatment of insomnia. High-quality, well-controlled randomized trials are needed to better inform clinical decisions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5570448/

Reduce Obesity with Yoga


Reduce Obesity with Yoga

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

“You get to thinking that yoga and its health benefits, such as stress reduction and improved fitness, are best for thin people, and not so much for the 36 percent of U.S. adults who are obese. Not true. Yoga is for all types of shapes and sizes if you just know how to start.” – Laura McMullen

Obesity is a serious health problem. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population. Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesity, alter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies. Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of physical and psychological benefits. These include significant loss in weight and body mass index (BMI), resting metabolism, and body fat in obese women with Type 2 diabetes and improve health in the obese. Hence, it would seem reasonable to investigate the benefits of yoga therapy on the weight and body composition of the obese.

In today’s Research News article “Sleep quality and body composition variations in obese male adults after 14 weeks of yoga intervention: A randomized controlled trial.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2017;volume=10;issue=3;spage=128;epage=137;aulast=Rshikesan, Rshikesan and colleagues recruited obese adult male participants and randomly assigned them to receive either no treatment or integrated yoga therapy for 1½ h for 5 days in a week, for 14 weeks. Yoga therapy includes relaxation, postures, breathing practice, and meditation. They were measured before and after treatment for body composition and sleep quality.

They found that the yoga therapy group had statistically significant reductions in obesity, including body weight, body mass index, and mineral content and increases in sleep quality and efficiency. In addition, there were no adverse events produced by the yoga practice. Hence, they found integrated yoga therapy to be a safe and effective treatment for obesity in adult males.

The benefits of yoga practice, though, appear to be small. The yoga group on average only lost about 2 pounds of body weight despite intensive treatment over 14 weeks. So, it doesn’t appear from this study that integrated yoga therapy is a cost-effective treatment. But, yoga practice is known to produce many improvements in the physiology that were not measured in the present study. These include improvements in cardiovascular symptoms, joint problems, and diabetes. These benefits would tend to counteract the negative health consequences of obesity.

So, although there are suggestions here that integrated yoga therapy may be useful in the treatment of obesity it’s cost-effectiveness is still questionable.

“Yoga is designed to help practitioner reduce body fat, increase flexibility and increase strength. The benefits of yoga to obese people also include increased blood flow, reduced pain and increased respiratory function.” – Hannah Wahlig

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available at the Contemplative Studies Blog http://contemplative-studies.org/wp/
They are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

Study Summary

Rshikesan P B, Subramanya P, Singh D. Sleep quality and body composition variations in obese male adults after 14 weeks of yoga intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Int J Yoga 2017;10:128-37

Background: Obesity is a big challenge all over the world. It is associated with many noncommunicable diseases. Yoga known to be add-on treatment may be effective for obesity control. Aim: To assess the effect of integrated approach of yoga therapy (IAYT) for body composition and quality of sleep in adult obese male. Subjects and Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted for 14 weeks on obese male of urban setting. Eighty individuals were randomly divided into two groups, i.e., yoga group (n = 40; age; 40.03 ± 8.74 years, body mass index [BMI] 28.7 ± 2.35 kg/m2) and control group (age; 42.20 ± 12.06 years, BMI 27.70 ± 2.05 kg/m2). The IAYT was imparted to yoga group for 1½ hour for 5 days in a week for 14 weeks. The control group continued their regular activities. The body composition by InBody R20 and sleep quality by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were assessed. Statistical analysis was done for within and between groups using SPSS version 21. The correlation analysis was done on the difference in pre-post values. Results: The results showed that weight (P = 0.004), BMI (P = 0.008), bone mass (P = 0.017), obesity degree (P = 0.005), and mineral mass (P = 0.046) were improved in yoga group and no change in control group (P > 0.05). The global score of PSQI improved (P = 0.017) in yoga group alone. Conclusion: The results indicate the beneficial effects of IAYT on body composition and sleep quality in obese males. The yoga practice may reduce obesity with the improvement in quality of life.
http://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2017;volume=10;issue=3;spage=128;epage=137;aulast=Rshikesan

Reduce Insomnia with Mindfulness

Reduce Insomnia with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Dr. Benson recommends practicing mindfulness during the day, ideally for 20 minutes, the same amount suggested in the new study. “The idea is to create a reflex to more easily bring forth a sense of relaxation,” he says. That way, it’s easier to evoke the relaxation response at night when you can’t sleep. In fact, the relaxation response is so, well, relaxing that your daytime practice should be done sitting up or moving (as in yoga or tai chi) so as to avoid nodding off.” – Julie Corliss

 

Modern society has become more around-the-clock and more complex producing considerable pressure and stress on the individual. The advent of the internet and smart phones has exacerbated the problem. The resultant stress can impair sleep. Indeed, it is estimated that over half of Americans sleep too little due to stress. As a result, people today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago. Not having a good night’s sleep has adverse effects upon the individual’s health, well-being, and happiness. Yet over 70 million Americans suffer from disorders of sleep and about half of these have a chronic disorder. It has been estimated that 30 to 35% of adults have brief symptoms of insomnia, 15 to 20% have a short-term insomnia disorder, and 10% have chronic insomnia

 

Insomnia is more than just an irritant. Sleep deprivation is associated with decreased alertness and a consequent reduction in performance of even simple tasks, decreased quality of life, increased difficulties with memory and problem solving, increased likelihood of accidental injury including automobile accidents, and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also can lead to anxiety about sleep itself. This is stressful and can produce even more anxiety about being able to sleep. About 4% of Americans revert to sleeping pills. But, these do not always produce high quality sleep and can have problematic side effects. So, there is a need to find better methods to treat insomnia. Mindfulness-based practices have been reported to improve sleep amount and quality and help with insomnia. The importance of insomnia underscores the need to further investigate safe and effective alternatives to drugs.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Quest for Mindful Sleep: A Critical Synthesis of the Impact of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Insomnia.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300077/, Garland and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the effects of mindfulness-based practices on sleep. They identify 6 randomized controlled trials. They report that the literature finds that mindfulness-based practices “reduce insomnia severity and sleep disturbance in healthy individuals, people with chronic disease, and older adults.” The findings appear to

stronger in studies with participants who had diagnosed insomnia or sleep disturbance. So, the more severe the problem, the greater the benefit.

 

Mindfulness practices are thought to improve sleep and reduce insomnia by a number of mechanisms. Mindfulness appear to reduce levels of physiological and psychological arousal which can interfere with sleep. In addition, mindfulness is known to reduce worry and rumination which can also lead to restlessness and sleep disturbance. Finally, mindfulness may improve sleep as a result of increasing the ability to let go of negative emotions. Regardless of the mechanisms it is clear that mindfulness training may be a useful treatment for insomnia and sleep disturbance.

 

So, reduce insomnia with mindfulness.

 

“Given the absence of side effects and the positive potential benefits of mindfulnessthat extend beyond sleep, we encourage people with chronic insomnia, particularly those unable or unwilling to use sleep medications, to consider mindfulness training” – Cynthia Gross

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Garland, S. N., Zhou, E. S., Gonzalez, B. D., & Rodriguez, N. (2016). The Quest for Mindful Sleep: A Critical Synthesis of the Impact of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Insomnia. Current Sleep Medicine Reports, 2(3), 142–151. http://doi.org/10.1007/s40675-016-0050-3

 

Abstract

Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) for insomnia and sleep disturbances are receiving increasing clinical and research attention. This paper provides a critical appraisal of this growing area investigating the application of MBIs for people with insomnia and sleep disturbance. First, we discuss the theoretical justification for how mindfulness meditation practice may affect sleep processes. Second, we provide a focused review of literature published between January 1, 2012 and April 1, 2016 examining the impact of MBIs on sleep, broken down by whether insomnia or sleep disturbance was a primary or secondary outcome. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300077/

Improve Sleep Problems in Adolescents with Mindfulness

Improve Sleep Problems in Adolescents with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“By taking this mindful attitude, sleep is facilitated by simply being aware of the moment-to-moment experience of relaxing into the bed, without judging or being critical of that experience, so that the mind can gently slip into sleep.“ – John Cline

 

Modern society has become more around-the-clock and more complex producing considerable pressure and stress on the individual. The advent of the internet and smart phones has exacerbated the problem. This stress may be amplified for adolescents. Adolescence can be a difficult time, fraught with challenges. During this time, the child transitions to young adulthood; including the development of intellectual, psychological, physical, and social abilities and characteristics. There are so many changes occurring during this time that the child can feel stressed and overwhelmed and unable to cope with all that is required.

 

The resultant stress can impair sleep. It is estimated that 14% of adolescents experience insomnia and 5.3% meet the diagnostic criteria for a sleep disorder. Insomnia is more than just an irritant. Sleep deprivation is associated with decreased alertness and a consequent reduction in performance of even simple tasks, decreased quality of life, increased difficulties with memory and problem solving, and increased likelihood of accidental injury including automobile accidents. It also can lead to anxiety about sleep itself. This is stressful and can produce even more anxiety about being able to sleep. About 4% of Americans revert to sleeping pills. But, these do not always produce high quality sleep and can have problematic side effects, including potential addiction. So, there is a need to find better methods to treat insomnia. Contemplative practices have been reported to improve sleep amount and quality and help with insomnia. The importance of insomnia underscores the need to further investigate safe and effective alternatives to drugs for adolescents.

 

In today’s Research News article “The SENSE Study: Treatment mechanisms of a cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based group sleep improvement intervention for at-risk adolescents.” (See summary below) Blake and colleagues recruited adolescents (mean age 14.5 years) from schools who had clinically significant anxiety and sleep disorder. They randomly assigned them to receive either 7 weekly 90-minute group sessions of a mindfulness-based sleep improvement program or study skills education. The sleep improvement intervention employs a cognitive behavioral approach, incorporating sleep education, sleep hygiene, stimulus control, and cognitive restructuring, with added mindfulness, savoring, and anxiety specific components. Participants were encouraged to continue practice at home. The adolescents were measured before and after treatment for sleep (actiwatch and self-report), anxiety, and pre-sleep arousal.

 

They found that after the intervention, in comparison to the study skills education group, the mindfulness-based sleep improvement group had significantly improved sleep, measured objectively with actiwatch or subjectively with self-report, better sleep hygiene awareness, lower anxiety, pre-sleep somatic arousal, and less pre-sleep cognitive arousal. Using a sophisticated statistical technique, they found that the improvements in sleep and anxiety were produced as a result of the improvements in pre-sleep somatic arousal, and pre-sleep cognitive arousal.

 

These are exciting results, particularly as the effect sizes were moderate to large and anxiety and sleep disruption are so prevalent in adolescents. This suggests that the mindfulness-based group sleep improvement intervention produces big improvements in a significant problem for adolescents. They further suggest that these improvements were mediated by improvements in pre-sleep arousal levels. So, the mindfulness-based group sleep improvement intervention appears to relax the adolescents so that they can sleep better. Mindfulness training has been shown to reduce the physiological and psychological responses to stress, reduce anxiety levels, and improve emotion regulation. So, these effects on arousal are not unexpected. But, the findings clearly suggest that improvements in mindfulness are very important to reduce anxiety and improve sleep in adolescents.

 

So, improve sleep problems in adolescents with mindfulness

 

“Mindfulness delivered improvements to sleep—including reduced insomnia, improved sleep quality, increased sleep time, and better sleep efficiency—that were comparable to sleep medication.” – Michael Breus

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

Matthew Blake, Orli Schwartz, Joanna M. Waloszek, Monika Raniti, Julian G. Simmons, Greg Murray, Laura Blake, M.Teach., Ronald E. Dahl, M.D., Richard Bootzin, Dana L. McMakin, Paul Dudgeon, John Trinder, Nicholas B. Allen. The SENSE Study: Treatment mechanisms of a cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based group sleep improvement intervention for at-risk adolescents. Sleep 2017 zsx061. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx061

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to test whether a cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based sleep intervention could improve sleep and anxiety on school nights in a group of at-risk adolescents. We also examined whether benefits to sleep and anxiety would be mediated by improvements in sleep hygiene awareness and pre-sleep hyperarousal.

METHOD:

Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial conducted with 123 adolescent participants (Female=60%; Mean Age=14.48) who had high levels of sleep problems and anxiety symptoms. Participants were randomized into a sleep improvement intervention (n=63) or active control ‘study skills’ intervention (n=60). Pre-and-post intervention, participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS), Sleep Beliefs Scale (SBS), and Pre-Sleep Hyperarousal Scale (PSAS), and wore an actiwatch and completed a sleep diary for five school nights.

RESULTS:

The sleep intervention condition was associated with significantly greater improvements in actigraphy-measured sleep onset latency (SOLobj), sleep diary measured sleep efficiency (SEsubj), PSQI, SCAS, SBS, and PSAS, with medium-large effect sizes. Improvements in the PSQI and SCAS were specifically mediated by the measured improvements in PSAS that resulted from the intervention. Improvements in SOLobj and SEsubj were not specifically related to improvements in any of the putative treatment mechanisms.

CONCLUSION:

This study provides evidence that pre-sleep arousal but not sleep hygiene awareness is important for adolescents’ perceived sleep quality, and could be a target for new treatments of adolescent sleep problems.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28431122

Improve Sleep with Mindfulness

Improve Sleep with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia.” – Ethan Green

 

Modern society has become more around-the-clock and more complex producing considerable pressure and stress on the individual. The advent of the internet and smart phones has exacerbated the problem. The resultant stress can impair sleep. Indeed, it is estimated that over half of Americans sleep too little due to stress. As a result, people today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago. Not having a good night’s sleep has adverse effects upon the individual’s health, well-being, and happiness. Yet over 70 million Americans suffer from disorders of sleep and about half of these have a chronic disorder. It has been estimated that 30 to 35% of adults have brief symptoms of insomnia, 15 to 20% have a short-term insomnia disorder, and 10% have chronic insomnia

 

Insomnia is more than just an irritant. Sleep deprivation is associated with decreased alertness and a consequent reduction in performance of even simple tasks, decreased quality of life, increased difficulties with memory and problem solving, increased likelihood of accidental injury including automobile accidents, and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also can lead to anxiety about sleep itself. This is stressful and can produce even more anxiety about being able to sleep. About 4% of Americans revert to sleeping pills. But, these do not always produce high quality sleep and can have problematic side effects. So, there is a need to find better methods to treat insomnia. Contemplative practices have been reported to improve sleep amount and quality and help with insomnia. The importance of insomnia underscores the need to further investigate safe and effective alternatives to drugs.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Quest for Mindful Sleep: A Critical Synthesis of the Impact of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Insomnia.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300077/

Garland and colleagues review the published research literature on the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on sleep. They identified 7 studies, 6 of which used randomized controlled trials. In most of these studies the mindfulness training consisted of either Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programs. They concluded that these studies demonstrated that mindfulness training can produce significant improvement in the severity of insomnia and sleep disturbance in healthy individuals, people with chronic disease, and with older adults.

 

These are encouraging results that suggest that mindfulness training is effective for improving sleep in a variety of sick and health individuals of varying ages. It is not known exactly how mindfulness acts to improve sleep. But, it can be speculated that the ability of mindfulness training to improve the psychological and physiological responses to stress may be involved.

Since high levels of stress are almost universal in modern populations and stress has been shown to contribute to sleep disturbance, it would seem reasonable to believe that reduction of the individual’s response to stress would improve sleep. Hence, mindfulness training may be an important alternative to drugs in the treatment of sleep problems. This improvement of sleep, in turn, can contribute to the individual’s overall health and well-being.

 

So, improve sleep with mindfulness.

 

“By taking this mindful attitude, sleep is facilitated by simply being aware of the moment-to-moment experience of relaxing into the bed, without judging or being critical of that experience, so that the mind can gently slip into sleep.” – John Cline

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

Sheila N. Garland, Eric S. Zhou, Brian D. Gonzalez, Nicole Rodriguez. The Quest for Mindful Sleep: A Critical Synthesis of the Impact of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Insomnia. Curr Sleep Med Rep. 2016 Sep; 2(3): 142–151.. doi: 10.1007/s40675-016-0050-3

 

Abstract

Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) for insomnia and sleep disturbances are receiving increasing clinical and research attention. This paper provides a critical appraisal of this growing area investigating the application of MBIs for people with insomnia and sleep disturbance. First, we discuss the theoretical justification for how mindfulness meditation practice may affect sleep processes. Second, we provide a focused review of literature published between January 1, 2012 and April 1, 2016 examining the impact of MBIs on sleep, broken down by whether insomnia or sleep disturbance was a primary or secondary outcome. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300077/

 

Improve Sleep Quality with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“With growing pressures at work coupled with smartphone technology, it is really difficult to ‘switch off’ because you continue to receive work-related messages in the evening. Meditation programs such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) have been shown to be effective in treating anxiety, insomnia, and other psychological disorders” – Ute Hülsheger

 

Modern society has become more around-the-clock and more complex producing considerable pressure and stress on the individual. The advent of the internet and smart phones has exacerbated the problem. The resultant stress can impair sleep. Indeed, it is estimated that over half of Americans sleep too little due to stress. As a result, people today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago. Not having a good night’s sleep has adverse effects upon the individual’s health, well-being, and happiness. Yet over 70 million Americans suffer from disorders of sleep and about half of these have a chronic disorder. It has been estimated that 30 to 35% of adults have brief symptoms of insomnia, 15 to 20% have a short-term insomnia disorder, and 10% have chronic insomnia

 

Insomnia is more than just an irritant. Sleep deprivation is associated with decreased alertness and a consequent reduction in performance of even simple tasks, decreased quality of life, increased difficulties with memory and problem solving, increased likelihood of accidental injury including automobile accidents, and increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also can lead to anxiety about sleep itself. This is stressful and can produce even more anxiety about being able to sleep. About 4% of Americans revert to sleeping pills. But, these do not always produce high quality sleep and can have problematic side effects. So, there is a need to find better methods to treat insomnia. Contemplative practices have been reported to improve sleep amount and quality and help with insomnia. The importance of insomnia underscores the need to further investigate safe and effective alternatives to drugs.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness meditation for insomnia: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1373740115983244/?type=3&theater

or see summary below. Gong and colleagues reviewed the published research literature on the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation on insomnia. They performed a meta-analysis on six randomized controlled trials with meditation training of 6 to 8 weeks. They found that when active control groups were included in the analysis sleep quality and total wake time was significantly improved with meditation practice. While when only studies employing wait list or attention control conditions were included, the analysis showed significant improvements in the amount of time to go to sleep, sleep efficiency, and sleep quality.  Hence, the research literature reported that mindfulness meditation produced significant improvements not in amount of sleep but primarily in the quality of sleep and with meditators falling asleep faster.

 

How does meditation practice improve sleep? One obvious possible mechanism is by stress reduction. Meditation practice has been shown to reduce both physiological and psychological responses to stress and stress is known to interfere with sleep. Another possibility is that meditation practice is known to reduce mind wandering and intrusive thoughts which are often a problem in trying to go to sleep. Additionally, meditation practice is known to improve emotion regulation, and powerful emotions can interfere with sleep. Regardless, of the mechanism, meditation practice is inexpensive and safe, having very few adverse effects, and have many other beneficial effects in addition to improving sleep. There is not much to lose and potentially a great deal to gain.

 

So, improve sleep quality with meditation.

 

“Insomnia patients who completed MBSR were able to learn and use a variety of meditation techniques to fall asleep faster at bedtime, return to sleep sooner if awakened in the middle of the night, awaken more refreshed, and better cope with occasional episodes of sleeplessness.” – Amber Hubbling

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts

 

Study Summary

Gong H, Ni CX, Liu YZ, Zhang Y, Su WJ, Lian YJ, Peng W, Jiang CL. Mindfulness meditation for insomnia: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.. J Psychosom Res. 2016 Oct;89:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2016.07.016. Epub 2016 Jul 26.

 

Highlights

  • This meta-analysiscollates studies and provides general information on the efficacy of MM for insomnia.
  • MM can contribute to modestly improving sleep parameters.
  • MM may be a promising option for the treatment of insomnia.

Abstract

Background: Insomnia is a widespread and debilitating condition that affects sleep quality and daily productivity. Although mindfulness meditation (MM) has been suggested as a potentially effective supplement to medical treatment for insomnia, no comprehensively quantitative research has been conducted in this field. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis on the findings of related randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the effects of MM on insomnia.

Methods: Related publications in PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and PsycINFO were searched up to July 2015. To calculate the standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), we used a fixed effect model when heterogeneity was negligible and a random effect model when heterogeneity was significant.

Results: A total of 330 participants in 6 RCTs that met the selection criteria were included in this meta-analysis. Analysis of overall effect revealed that MM significantly improved total wake time and sleep quality, but had no significant effects on sleep onset latency, total sleep time, wake after sleep onset, sleep efficiency, total wake time, ISI, PSQI and DBAS. Subgroup analyses showed that although there were no significant differences between MM and control groups in terms of total sleep time, significant effects were found in total wake time, sleep onset latency, sleep quality, sleep efficiency, and PSQI global score (absolute value of SMD range: 0.44–1.09, all p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The results suggest that MM may mildly improve some sleep parameters in patients with insomnia. MM can serve as an auxiliary treatment to medication for sleep complaints.

 

Improve Breast Cancer Survivor Sleep with Mindfulness

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“The mindfulness elements of accepting things as they are, turning towards rather than away from difficult emotional experience, and embracing change as a constant are helpful for cancer patients who are may be facing difficult realities. The emotion-regulation strategies practiced in mindfulness interventions help to prevent worry about the future and rumination over past events, and allow patients to live more fully in the present moment, regardless of what lies ahead.” – Tracey Aaron

 

People who are cancer survivors face a myriad of issues including sleep difficulties. It is estimated that one third to one half of cancer survivors experience sleep problems. About 12.5% of women in the U.S. develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetimes and every year about 40,000 women die. Indeed, more women in the U.S. die from breast cancer than from any other cancer, besides lung cancer. It is encouraging, however, that the death rates have been decreasing for decades from improved detection and treatment of breast cancer. Five-year survival rates are now at around 95%.

 

The improved survival rates mean that more women are now living with cancer. This can be difficult as breast cancer survivors can have to deal with the consequences of chemotherapy, and often experience increased fatigue, pain, and bone loss, reduced fertility, difficulty with weight maintenance, damage to the lymphatic system, heightened fear of reoccurrence, and an alteration of their body image. As a result, survivors often develop sleep problems, including difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep. These sleep disturbances can interfere with recovery as they can contribute to stress, fatigue, depression, and poorer treatment outcomes. So, it is important to address sleep disturbance in cancer survivors.

 

Mindfulness training has shown promise in treating sleep disorders. It has also been shown to be helpful with cancer treatment and recovery. So, it would make sense to test whether mindfulness training might be effective in treating sleep disturbances in breast cancer survivors. In today’s Research News article “The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR(BC)) on Objective and Subjective Sleep Parameters in Women with Breast Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1236247519732505/?type=3&theater

or below or view the full text of the study at:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4487655/

Lengacher and colleagues performed a randomized controlled trial of the effects of an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program on the sleep of breast cancer survivors. Patients completed a questionnaire regarding their sleep and a sleep diary. They also wore and activity monitor for three days as an objective measure of sleep. Measurements were obtained before treatment and again at 6 and 12 weeks after treatment.

 

They found that MBSR training produced a significant improvement in sleep as assessed with the objective measure (activity monitor) at both 6 and 12 weeks after treatment. The improvements included better sleep efficiency and percentage of time asleep, and also fewer waking bouts. The self-report measures of sleep also showed improvement but were not statistically significant. Since direct, objective measures do not rely on memory or judgement, they are considered more accurate. Thus, the results show that MBSR training improves sleep in breast cancer survivors.

 

These are interesting and potentially important useful results. Improving sleep in cancer survivors may contribute to their health and well-being and their ability to stay in remission. How MBSR has this effect on sleep was not investigated. It can, however, be speculated that MBSR may effect sleep by reducing the patients psychological and physiological responses to stress. This would help to relax the patients making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Alternatively, MBSR has been shown to improve emotion regulation, improving the individual’s ability to completely feel the emotion, yet respond to it adaptively. This may help sleep by allowing the individual to better cope with the anxiety, fear, and worry associated with being a cancer survivor.

 

So, improve breast cancer survivor sleep with mindfulness

 

“I am now more easily able to mindfully feel both the difficult and the pleasant emotions of this journey—the uncertainty, the worries and the fear, the relief as I recover, the acceptance of a new normal, and noticing my strength and resilience—each informing the other. Writing about it now I see that having experienced cancer brought with it some gifts: a new sense of integration, a new sense of knowing myself—grounded in the present—with hope for the future.” – Esther Brandon

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts

 

Study Summary

Lengacher, C. A., Reich, R. R., Paterson, C. L., Jim, H. S., Ramesar, S., Alinat, C. B., … Kip, K. E. (2015). The Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR(BC)) on Objective and Subjective Sleep Parameters in Women with Breast Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Psycho-Oncology,24(4), 424–432. http://doi.org/10.1002/pon.3603

 

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of MBSR(BC) on multiple measures of objective and subjective sleep parameters among breast cancer survivors (BCS).

Methods: Data were collected using a two-armed randomized controlled design among BCS enrolled in either a six week MBSR(BC) program or a Usual Care (UC) group with a 12-week follow-up. The present analysis is a subset of the larger parent trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01177124). Seventy-nine BCS participants (mean age 57 years), stages 0-III, were randomly assigned to either the formal (in-class) six week MBSR(BC) program or UC. Subjective sleep parameters (SSP) (i.e., sleep diaries and the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)) and objective sleep parameters (OSP) (i.e., actigraphy) were measured at baseline, six weeks and 12 weeks after completing the MBSR(BC) or UC program.

Results: Results showed indications of a positive effect of MBSR(BC) on OSP at 12 weeks on sleep efficiency (78.2% MBSR(BC) group vs. 74.6% UC group, p=0.04), percent of sleep time (81.0% MBSR(BC) vs. 77.4% UC, p=0.02) and less number waking bouts (93.5 in MBSR(BC) vs. 118.6 in the UC group, p<0.01). Small non-significant improvements were found in SSP in the MBSR(BC) group from baseline to 6 weeks (PSQI total score, p=0.09). No significant relationship was observed between minutes of MBSR(BC) practice and SSP or OSP.

Conclusions: These data suggest that MBSR(BC) may be an efficacious treatment to improve objective and subjective sleep parameters in BCS.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4487655/

 

 

Recover from Work with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“All this data suggest mindfulness has real impactful changes on our minds and bodies. And it’s helped make mindfulness more kosher with the corporate world, where it might’ve previously been considered new-agey. Mindful workers report higher levels of happiness and productivity” – David Gelles

 

We spend approximately 25% of our adult lives at work. How we spend that time is immensely important for our overall well-being, including our psychological and physical health. Indeed, the work environment has even become an important part of our social lives, with friendships and leisure time activities often attached to the work environment. But, more than half of employees in the U.S. and nearly 2/3 worldwide are unhappy at work. This is primarily due to the fact that stress is epidemic in the workplace. A recent Harris poll found that 80 percent of workers feel stressed about one or more things in the workplace. This stress can lead to physical and psychological problems for managers and employees, including fatigue, sleep problems, depression, absenteeism, lower productivity, lower job satisfaction, and personal and professional burnout. Indeed, 46.4% of employees, report having psychological distress.

 

Mindfulness training of employees is a potential help with work related stress. It has been shown to reduce the psychological and physical reactions to stress overall and particularly in the workplace and to reduce burnout. A problem in implementing mindfulness programs in the workplace is the time required for the training. This makes many managers reticent to try it. So, it is important to develop programs that do not seriously impact on work time. A potential solution is to train mindfulness on-line. This is feasible as mindfulness training over the internet has been found to be effective for anxiety depression.

 

In today’s Research News article “Internet-Based Instructor-Led Mindfulness for Work-Related Rumination, Fatigue, and Sleep: Assessing Facets of Mindfulness as Mechanisms of Change. A Randomized Waitlist Control Trial.” See:

https://www.facebook.com/ContemplativeStudiesCenter/photos/a.628903887133541.1073741828.627681673922429/1227139160643341/?type=3&theater

or see below

Querstret and colleagues randomly assigned full-time working adults to either receive a 4-week internet based mindfulness training or as a wait-list control. The mindfulness training was conducted on-line interactively led by experienced mindfulness instructors and was composed of elements from Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

 

They found that the mindfulness training produced a significant increase in the mindfulness facets of acting with awareness, non-judging, and describing. Recovery from work was also significantly impacted by the mindfulness training with lower levels of emotional rumination and rumination after work about work-related issues, and lower levels of acute and chronic fatigue, and higher levels of sleep quality. These improvements were maintained 3 and 6 months following the end of mindfulness training. Finally, they found that the mindfulness training had its effects by altering the acting with awareness facet of mindfulness which, in turn, affected the work recovery variables.

 

These results demonstrate that an on-line mindfulness training program can have large and sustained effects on work-related problems. The fact that the program was conducted on-line is significant as these programs can be conducted without taking time away from work. This is important to employers and makes it more likely that such a program will be adopted.

 

It is interesting that the program appeared to work by affecting acting with awareness. This suggests that working with awareness is a key. By staying focused on their work tasks in the present moment the individual may be better able to perform them and thereby reduce stress and its consequent effects on after-work psychological processes. It is also known that mindfulness programs by themselves can lower the psychological and physiological effects of stress and improve emotion regulation, allowing the worker to experience their emotions but act adaptively in response to them. All of these effects of mindfulness training may add together to markedly improve the workers’ recovery from the stress of work.

 

So, recover from work with mindfulness.

 

“In this age of constant distractions and long hours, it’s difficult to find even a few minutes of time to reflect. Yet finding that time and space can help ease the stresses of your demanding working life.” -Peter Jaret

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

Study Summary

Querstret, D., Cropley, M., & Fife-Schaw, C. (2016, April 7). Internet-Based Instructor-Led Mindfulness for Work-Related Rumination, Fatigue, and Sleep: Assessing Facets of Mindfulness as Mechanisms of Change. A Randomized Waitlist Control Trial. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ocp0000028

 

This study aimed to extend our theoretical understanding of how mindfulness-based interventions exert their positive influence on measures of occupational health. Employing a randomized waitlist control study design, we sought to (a) assess an Internet-based instructor-led mindfulness intervention for its effect on key factors associated with “recovery from work,” specifically, work-related rumination, fatigue, and sleep quality; (b) assess different facets of mindfulness (acting with awareness, describing, nonjudging, and nonreacting) as mechanisms of change; and (c) assess whether the effect of the intervention was maintained over time by following up our participants after 3 and 6 months. Participants who completed the mindfulness intervention (n 60) reported significantly lower levels of work-related rumination and fatigue, and significantly higher levels of sleep quality, when compared with waitlist control participants (n 58). Effects of the intervention were maintained at 3- and 6-month follow-up with medium to large effect sizes. The effect of the intervention was primarily explained by increased levels of only 1 facet of mindfulness (acting with awareness). This study provides support for online mindfulness interventions to aid recovery from work and furthers our understanding with regard to how mindfulness interventions exert their positive effects.