For older adults, a solution to sleepless nights – Mindful awareness has scientific support as a means to reduce stress, improve attention, boost the immune system, reduce emotional reactivity and promote a general sense of health and well-being.

sleep disoderResearchers of Neuroscience and Human Behavior say they’ve found a relatively simple mind–body intervention that fits the bill.The scientists found that mindfulness meditation promotes sleep quality in older adults who suffer from moderate sleep complaints. (UCLA Health System, 02/19/2015)

Everybody has a restless night now and again, but sleep disturbances among the elderly are a significant medical and public health concern. An estimated 50 percent of people aged 55 and older suffer from some form of sleep problem, including not being able to fall asleep or not being able to stay asleep when they do. And those nighttime issues can carry over into the day, causing fatigue, depression and a diminished quality of life. Medications can help but they are, at best, temporary fixes, and they can cause daytime side effects and carry the risk of drug dependency. All of which has created an urgent need for a way to help older adults sleep better without a pill. Researchers at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior say they’ve found a relatively simple mind–body intervention that fits the bill. Working with collaborators at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, the scientists found that mindfulness meditation promotes sleep quality in older adults who suffer from moderate sleep complaints. Their research appears in the Feb. 12 online edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine.

Dating back thousands of years, the practice of mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to — but not reacting to, judging or being distracted by — one’s own moment-by-moment thoughts, emotions, and physiological responses and sensations.

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