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The effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction programme on pre-sleep cognitive arousal and insomnia symptoms: a pilot study

Authors

  • Andrea L. Cincotta,

    1. Penn Program for Mindfulness, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia PA, USA
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  • Philip Gehrman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    2. Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    • Clinical Director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, Department of Psychiatry & Penn Sleep Center, University of Pennsylvania, 3535 Market Street, Suite 670, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
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  • Nalaka S. Gooneratne,

    1. Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    2. Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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  • Michael J. Baime

    1. Penn Program for Mindfulness, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia PA, USA
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Abstract

The use of mindfulness meditation for stress management has grown in recent years. Practising mindfulness meditation has been shown to help manage stress and decrease arousal, both of which are associated with difficulty sleeping; thus, mindfulness-based stress management programmes may have a positive impact on sleep. The effects of an 8-week mindfulness-based stress management programme on pre-sleep cognitive arousal and insomnia symptoms were examined. Sleep was assessed with self-report measures and objectively with actigraphy. Results showed lower levels of pre-sleep arousal and milder subjective insomnia symptoms post-intervention. Longer duration of meditation practice in the final week was associated with greater decreases in cognitive arousal scores. No improvements were found in objectively measured sleep variables. The results of this study suggest that mindfulness-based stress management can lead to improvements in cognitive arousal and self-reports of sleep, even in the absence of objective evidence of sleep improvement. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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