Studies show meditation triggers relaxation, combats insomnia, and reduces fatigue. Meditation even boosts the body's natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Struggling with sleepless nights? Studies show meditation triggers relaxation, combats insomnia, and reduces fatigue. Meditation even boosts the body's natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Meditation may LOOK like just sitting quietly with your eyes closed, but the centuries-old practice is actually a highly active physiological state that offers many benefits to your brain and body.
One well-studied benefit? Better sleep.
As an example, a 2015 randomized clinical trial published JAMA found that mindfulness meditation significantly boosts sleep in older adults with sleep problems.
The researchers randomly divided 49 study participants into two groups: one group received training on mindfulness meditation and additional present moment awareness exercises. The other group received training on how to improve sleep habits and sleep hygiene. Both groups met for two hours once per week, for a total of six weeks. By the end of the study, the participants who received meditation training were sleeping better and feeling less fatigued compared to the participants who only learned about sleep hygiene techniques.
Why is meditation such a great natural sleep enhancer? Research shows the practice boosts relaxation by stimulating the autonomic nervous system. Meditation also increases your body's natural production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and serotonin (a precursor to melatonin), slows your heart rate, and decreases your blood pressure—all of which promote better Zzz's.