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Meditation to Cure Primary Insomnia
TUESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- If you're tossing and turning and having trouble getting a good night's sleep, you may want to consider meditation, researchers suggest.
People with primary insomnia reported that they slept better after trying meditation, according to a new study to be presented June 9 at SLEEP, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, in Seattle.
Primary insomnia is described as difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep over a time period of at least one month, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
While most insomnia occurs along with another physical or mental illness or disorder, or as a side effect of medications or other substances, primary insomnia occurs on its own.
In the study, researchers divided 11 participants aged 25 to 45 with chronic primary insomnia into two groups. One group participated in Kriya Yoga -- a form of meditation that helps an individual focus internalized attention and can reduce arousal -- as well as health education.
The other group received information about improving health through exercise, nutrition, weight loss and stress management but did not participate in meditation.
After two months, the meditation group reported improvements in sleep quality, how long it took to get to sleep, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep efficiency and depression, the researchers reported.
Primary insomnia is believed to be a problem of hyperarousal, with high levels of arousal noted 24 hours a day, said lead study author Dr. Ramadevi Gourineni, director of the insomnia program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Evanston, Ill.
"Results of the study show that teaching deep relaxation techniques during the daytime can help improve sleep at night," Gourineni said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
About 9.4 percent of U.S. residents, or an estimated 20 million people, try meditating during a 12-month period, according to a 2007 study by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. People reported using meditation for various health problems, including anxiety, pain, depression, stress and insomnia.
A 2007 review of the scientific literature found some evidence that meditation is associated with health benefits, possibly by causing heart rate and breathing to slow, improving blood flow and reducing activity in the sympathetic nervous system (the body's fight-or-flight mechanism).
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more on meditation and health.
SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, June 9, 2009
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Insomnia Stress - Is There Such Thing as Positive and Negative Stress?Author: Raj Kumar
Everyone maybe aware that stress is one of the major causes of insomnia. Having difficulty to sleep is among the many effects of stress in an individual but the lack of sleep can impact you greatly because it can affect your daily routines, moods and worse, it can make you look old. Simply put, stress gets you insomniac and the condition differs depending on the degree of the stress. That is why someone who has insomnia really makes effort to determine the most effective insomnia stress relief.
Stress can be short term or long term. All people happen to experience short term stress in some instances however, some of these short term stresses can be considered healthy.
· Excitement felt for a coming event like birthday, reunion or a job interview.
· An impending job promotion or salary increase or maybe an award.
· Anticipation of seeing or meeting a beloved or your favorites like your favorite celebrities or individuals, the people you look up to and idolized - your inspirations
· Going on a great vacation or travel abroad.
- A Loss. It could either be losing someone dear, a person or a pet or a treasured thing. Losing as in bankruptcy is also a major negative stressor.
- Problems are also negative stressors and it can be a personal problem involving only yourself or a family problem. Problem with peers and friends is also one stressor.
- Existing medical condition or disease. Even how small or minor the condition is the fact that it affects your health, in part or a whole is a stressor. Parents are stressed when kids get sick or the partner is diagnosed with some illness.
The list could go on and for sure you can still think of additional stressors to include here, but the list is just presented not for you to avoid but for you to be aware of. Well, thinking of ways to avoid these stressors maybe a stress in itself that can bring insomnia.
The key here is not avoiding stressors, it is handing stressors effectively whether it is positive or a negative one. Of course, major stressors like a losing one family member could be a very difficult situation and can render you sleepless nights but there are ways to handle if effectively.
Stress Handling the Natural Way
Heard about knowing the cause of your problem or stress is half of the solution already or every problem has a solution? These principles are part of what many call positive thinking, one of the insomnia stress relief that you can employ. Coupled with relaxation techniques and good diet, you maybe surprised to find yourself sleeping soundly at night.
It can't be avoided to think about sleeping pills as insomnia stress relief but with the many unsuccessful stories of using these anti-insomnia medications it would be better to explore on the natural ways to get some sleep. Stressors come more from the environment, so the solutions can sometimes be on altering the environment. Visualization technique is imaging that you are in an environment that you prefer in order to relax and sleep. Scenting is another technique used using the environment to promote sleep.
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