Meditation Reduces Insomnia

The Mayo Clinic’s website states:

“Insomnia is a disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or both. With insomnia, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day. Insomnia can sap not only your (1) energy level and (2) mood but also your (3) health), (4) work performance and (5) quality of life.
How much sleep is enough varies from person to person. Most adults need seven to eight hours a night. Many adults experience insomnia at some point, but some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia.
You don’t have to put up with sleepless nights. Simple changes in your daily habits can help.”

Let’s consider the way that adding the Transcendental Meditation technique to your daily routine can reduce the effects of insomnia described above and how it can reduce the disorder altogether.

  1. Energy
    During the TM technique, the body settles down to a state of deep rest alleviating fatigue and stress. The result is more energy, dynamism, and stamina during activity.
  2. Mood
    During TM practice, hormones associated with stress and depression decrease with a concurrent increase of hormones associated with well-being. A study presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine showed that depressive symptoms decreased by almost 50% over a 12-month period among people practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique.

  3. Health
    Research published on the TM program shows a wide array of health benefits including normalized blood pressure, reduced atherosclerosis, decreased insomnia, fewer tumors, greater resiliency, overall longevity, and reduced health care utilization.

  4. Work performance
    Related research shows that TM improves efficiency, productivity, memory, leadership development, work relationships, focus, orderly thinking, and decision making ability and reduces workplace stress and absenteeism.
  5. Quality of life
    During the TM technique, the mind experiences a field of peace and happiness at its most fundamental level. These qualities carry over into daily life, bringing inner confidence, stability, and joyfulness along with the ability to be more spontaneous, tolerant, and intimate with others. After work, TM helps dissolve the stress of the day so that you can delight in your personal life each evening.

Transcendental Meditation reduced the average amount of time taken to fall asleep.

A 1975 study showed that Transcendental Meditation is an effective treatment for insomnia. Meditating patients were asked to report the time taken to fall asleep before learning the TM technique and then to continue to report the time taken to fall asleep after learning and practicing Transcendental Meditation. The study clearly showed not only an initial decrease in the time taken to fall asleep but also that patients continued to fall asleep more quickly while reporting during a one year period.

“If TM were a new drug, conveying this many benefits, it would be the biggest, multi-billion-dollar blockbuster drug on the market.” —Norman Rosenthal, 20-year senior NIH researcher and professor of psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical School

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TM practitioners report that their sleep problems are effectively reduced. Here are four examples of studies published over the last decades on this benefit of TM practice:

  1. Published in Anxiety, Stress, and Coping 1993 6:245-262:
    Executives and Employees who learned the TM technique showed significantly greater improvements on a wide variety of measures, including:  decreases in anxiety, job tension, insomnia and fatigue; reduced consumption of cigarettes and hard liquor; and improved general health.
  2. Published in Criminal Justice and Behavior 1978 5(1):3-20:
    Significant differences were found between the Transcendental Meditation and control groups across all the inventories, indicating reduction in anxiety, neuroticism, hostility, insomnia, fewer behavior infractions, decreased resentment; decreased negativism decreased irritability; improved sleep patterns (decreased time to fall asleep, decreased awakenings per night, improved quality of sleep).
  3. Published in Japanese Journal of Public Health 1990 37:729:
    Industrial workers who learned the Transcendental Meditation technique showed reduced time to fall asleep, less awakening during sleep, decrease in habitual smoking and fewer cigarettes smoked.
  4. Published in Lakartidningen 1977 74(47):4212-4214:
    Improvements in neuroticism and insomnia, and reduced use of tranquilizers were found to result from three months’ practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. These findings indicate a relief from stress and increased psychological balance.