Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Meditation May Be An Effective Treatment For Insomnia

ScienceDaily (June 15, 2009) — Meditation may be an effective behavioral intervention in the treatment of insomnia, according to a research abstract that will be presented on June 9, at Sleep 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Results indicate that patients saw improvements in subjective sleep quality and sleep diary parameters while practicing meditation. Sleep latency, total sleep time, total wake time, wake after sleep onset, sleep efficiency, sleep quality and depression improved in patients who used meditation.

According to principal investigator Ramadevi Gourineni, MD, director of the insomnia program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Evanston, Ill., insomnia is believed to be a 24-hour problem of hyperarousal, and elevated measures of arousals are seen throughout the day.

"Results of the study show that teaching deep relaxation techniques during the daytime can help improve sleep at night," said Gourineni.

The study gathered data from 11 healthy subjects between the ages of 25 and 45 years with chronic primary insomnia. Participants were divided into two intervention groups for two months: Kriya Yoga (a form of meditation that is used to focus internalized attention and has been shown to reduce measures of arousal) and health education. Subjective measures of sleep and depression were collected at baseline and after the two-month period.

Both groups received sleep hygiene education; members of the health education group also received information about health-related topics and how to improve health through exercise, nutrition, weight loss and stress management.

Abstract Title: Effects of Meditation on Sleep in Individuals with Chronic Insomnia

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Color Test Predicts Response to Hypnotherapy

ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2010) — When people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were asked to relate their mood to a color, those choosing a positive color were nine times more likely to respond to hypnotherapy than those who chose a negative color or no color at all. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggest that these findings could be used to predict responders to treatment.

Peter Whorwell worked with a team of researchers from the University of Manchester, UK, to carry out the study using a color chart called the 'Manchester Color Wheel' which allows patients to choose colors that have previously been defined as positive, neutral or negative. He said, "Our unit has been providing hypnotherapy for the treatment of IBS for over twenty years with approximately two thirds of patients responding to treatment. Unfortunately, patients may require as many as twelve one hour sessions of therapy to secure a response and therefore this results in the treatment being relatively expensive to provide. Consequently it would be very useful to be able to predict responders."

Speaking about the results Whorwell said, "Being able to describe mood in terms of a positive color is a sign of an active imagination, which is an important component of hypnotic ability." The hypnotherapy provided in Professor Whorwell's Unit is called gut-focused hypnotherapy. The technique aims to give a patient control over their gut and they have shown that following a course of treatment actual changes in gastrointestinal function can be demonstrated.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by BioMed Central, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Journal Reference:
   1. Helen R Carruthers, Julie Morris, Nicholas Tarrier and Peter J Whorwell. Mood color choice helps to predict response to hypnotherapy in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, (in press) [link]

BioMed Central (2010, December 6). Color test predicts response to hypnotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 8, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2010/12/101206201231.htm