/publications/issue/2005/2005-08/2005-08-9779

Spiritual Practice Aids Sleep

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Yoga may be the answer for older adults having trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. For the study, 69 participants were randomly put into 3 groups: yoga, Ayurveda (a form of alternative medicine), and control. The participants completed a questionnaire after 3 and 6 months of interventions.

The yoga group learned physical postures, relaxation techniques, and voluntarily regulated breathing and attended lectures on yoga philosophy. The Ayurveda group was given a treatment of herbs. The results of the study showed that the yoga group reported decreased time to fall asleep and a considerable increase in the total hours of sleep after 3 or 6 months of intervention. The Ayurveda and control group experienced no changes in sleep. (The findings were reported in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, May 2005.)