Spiritual Practice Aids Sleep

AUGUST 01, 2005

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.)