Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mindfulness and Sleep and Insomnia

Two studies provided some interesting information on mindfulness and insomnia. Ong and Sholtes (2010) found  mindfulness meditation affects stress reduction and some symptoms of insomnia.  Lundh (2005) identified cognitive processes that interfere with natural sleep patterns.  Mindfulness helped the insomniac restructure their perceptions of the maladaptive sleep patterns, in effect, reducing the symptoms of insomnia.  Ong and Sholtes explain the mechanism by which mindfulness helps resolve insomnia:  it helps the insomniac become more aware of the mental processes associated with chronic insomnia, lessening the distress associated with maladaptive sleep patterns (not being able to get to sleep), and changes the prevailing relationship between the individual and insomnia. 

I appreciated Ong and Sholtes' perception of mindfulness as self-compassion. If an individual is able to connect to such self-compassion, perhaps this ability would interfere with the negative thought patterns associated with insomnia (Ong & Sholtes, 2010).  It would certainly be worth a try, do you agree?  In addition, mindfulness might help create a new cycle, and the develop of new, more adaptive patterns of  sleep: getting more quality sleep, feeling more rested during the day, increased success at the practice of mindfulness, better sleep, and so on.
In addition, because of your personal experience, you might be interested to check the references in both these articles.  In particular, Harvey has written  an abundance of material on insomnia.

Lundh, L. (2005). The Role of Acceptance and Mindfulness in the Treatment of Insomnia. Journal Of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 19(1), 29-39.

Ong, J., & Sholtes, D. (2010). A mindfulness-based approach to the treatment of insomnia. Journal Of Clinical Psychology, 66(11), 1175-1184. doi:10.1002/jclp.20736

No comments:

Post a Comment