Meditation can help relieve insomnia through the detachment from the thoughts that are disturbing sleep or making someone wake up during sleep. Meditation in bed can help one falling sleep quickly and promote the sleep quality.
The combination of mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia has been found to be beneficial during posttreatment time. Researchers at Stanford University studied the long-term effects of such intervention on insomnia (Ong et al., 2009).
In the study, a total of 21 participants were involved. The follow-up data were collected at 6- and 12-month after the therapy (Ong et al., 2009). The study found that several sleep-related benefits from the combination of mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy were kept during the 12-month follow-up period. However, negative correlations between mindfulness skills and daytime sleepiness were also observed. More studies are needed to assess the effects of meditation and/or CBT on sleep and to understand the mechanisms.
Ong, J. C., Shapiro, S. L., et al. (2009) Mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia: a naturalistic 12-month follow-up. Explore (NY) 5, 30-36.