Researchers found that among 49 older adults with sleep problems, those who learned mindfulness practices started sleeping better within six weeks. In fact, they did better than their counterparts who were given conventional lessons on good sleep habits, the study authors said.
Experts said the findings, published online Feb. 16 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, are encouraging.
On average, the effects of the mindfulness program were comparable to what’s been seen in studies of sleep medications and “talk therapy,” said study leader David Black, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles.
According to Black, that means older adults can feel comfortable opting for “mind-body” practices as a way to address moderate sleep problems. But he also emphasized the structured nature of the program tested in his study.