How mindfulness changed my sleep: focus groups with chronic insomnia patients

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Amber HubblingCynthia R Gross


Chronic insomnia is a major public health problem affecting approximately 10% of adults. Use of meditation and yoga to develop mindful awareness ('mindfulness training') may be an effective approach to treat chronic insomnia, with sleep outcomes comparable to nightly use of prescription sedatives, but more durable and with minimal or no side effects. The purpose of this study was to understand mindfulness training as experienced by patients with chronic insomnia, and suggest procedures that may be useful in optimizing sleep benefits. Adults (N = 18) who completed an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program as part of a randomized, controlled clinical trial to evaluate MBSR as a treatment for chronic insomnia were invited to participate in post-trial focus groups. Two groups were held. Participants (n = 9) described how their sleep routine, thoughts and emotions were affected by MBSR and about utility (or not) of various mindfulness techniques. Groups were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using content analysis. Four themes were identified: the impact of mindfulness on sleep and motivation to adopt a healthy sleep lifestyle; benefits of mindfulness on aspects of life beyond sleep; challenges and successes...Continue Reading


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