Meditation = Better Sleep?


Phoenix Rising Founder
This study -coming out of India- suggests that meditation practiced twice a day in healthy people leads to measurably better sleep. They engaged in 23 minutes of meditation twice a day.

Patra S, Telles S.
Indian Council of Medical Research Center for Advanced Research in Yoga and Neurophysiology, SVYASA, Bangalore, India.

BACKGROUND: Cyclic meditation (CM) is a technique that combines yoga postures interspersed with supine rest. This combination is based on ancient texts and is considered easier for beginners to practice.

MATERIAL/METHODS: Whole-night polysomnographic measures and the self-rating of sleep were studied on the night following a day in which 30 male participants practiced CM twice (ca. 23 minutes each time). This was compared with another night when they had had two sessions of supine rest (SR) of equal duration on the preceding day. The sessions were one day apart and the order of the sessions was randomized. Recordings were from the F4, C4, and O2 electrode sites referenced to linked earlobes and bipolar electroculography and electromyography sites.

RESULTS: In the night following CM, the percentage of slow-wave sleep (SWS) was significantly higher than in the night following SR, whereas the percentage of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep and the number of awakenings per hour were less. Following CM the self-rating of sleep based on visual analog scales showed an increase in the feeling that the sleep was refreshing, an increase in feeling "good" in the morning, an overall increase in sleep duration, and decreases in the degree to which sleep was influenced by being in a laboratory as well as any associated discomfort. CONCLUSIONS: Practicing cyclic meditation twice a day appeared to improve the objective and subjective quality of sleep on the following night.

It's great that they're measuring this scientifically. I think ME/CFS patients may have a barrier to effective meditation; ie it may take them longer to achieve these results but Dr. Friedman and Ashok Gupta both believe that meditation - if done consistently - does improve sleep in ME/CFS :)


Still working on it all..
Melbourne, Australia
The amount of time involved is interesting at 23 mins twice per day. A nutritionist posted elsewhere that he was looking into breathing techniques and ended up recommending...25 mins twice per day! I wonder if there is some almost universal recommendation by the 'breathing technique' folks...

I've begun to meditate daily for 20-45 mins each day over several weeks now, only missed a couple of days. Sleep still the same...but I take drugs for that.
It does relax me though, a nice chill out for the day..:)


Senior Member
Interesting, this 20-ish minute thing.

I am not good at meditation, too restless and distractable.

I noticed for myself some years ago a similar time frame. This was back when I was a pentecostal / charismatic and spent alot of time praying. And there was always a palpable difference ... don't know how to describe exactly, in how I felt maybe, in the room, it was after 20 minutes that maybe some insight that had never occured to me before would arise in my thoughts or a mental picture that would make a difference somehow ... I would also pray over my kids if they were sick, and I'd lay a hand on them doing so, and after 20 minutes, there would be a warmth and ... something else, don't know what but I always recognized it and couldn't conjure it up on my own, I called it Velvet ... sometimes shortly after the kid's fever or headache or bellyache went away.

Took 20 min. to get there though, always.

Many of my beliefs have changed in the last 7 yrs, since I left my church. For one thing I could not juxtapose a belief in healing with the fact that I was still sick. :rolleyes:

But I can't deny my own experience, that how ever it all works, and with Whom, that when I was willing to spend 20 minutes or more in that frame of mind, something would happen, even if it was just in me ... and sometimes it would extend outside of me.

But as I said I rarely sit in a meditative state, can't maintain it. My best thing was walking about, speaking in tongues. Or walking about and singing, in English or in tongues.

So there ya have it. :) Make of it what you will.:eek: