Here at Silentnight we are big advocates of resting
at intervals throughout the day, so we were delighted to see the
details of a recent clinical trial that highlighted the importance
of meditation and sleep, published in The New York Times this


The trial, published in the journal
JAMA Internal Medicine, recruited 50 adults with moderate sleep
problems and assigned them to follow one of two

In one group, the adults learned
behaviours that could help them develop good sleep hygiene, like
establishing a regular bedtime routine and avoiding caffeine and
alcohol before bed. The other group underwent a six-week program on
mindfulness meditation - the nonjudgmental awareness of the
thoughts and feelings drifting through one's mind - led by a
certified teacher.

At the end of the yearlong study,
the people who learned the mindfulness approach had greater
improvements in sleep quality and fewer symptoms of insomnia,
depression and fatigue than those who received standard

The author of the study, David S.
Black, said mindfulness meditation probably helped settle the
brain's arousal systems. And unlike widely used sleep drugs, it
does not have potentially severe side effects, said Dr. Black, an
assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of
Southern California.

"Given the many health concerns
pertaining to sleep aid medication use in older adults," he added,
"mindfulness meditation appears to be a safe and sensible health
promoting practice to improve sleep quality."

Do you have trouble sleeping? Find
sleep tips from our sleep expert Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan here