A Free 2-Step Solution for More Sleep

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

A new study adds improved sleep to the list of health benefits of meditation. Here's how to embrace this practice.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called insufficient sleep a public health epidemic linked to car crashes, industrial disasters and medical errors, as well as chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity and cancer — not to mention reduced quality of life and productivity.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, insufficient sleep even affects your fiscal health.

What if I told you there’s a simple, cost-free activity you can do at home that might reduce insomnia, fatigue and depression? That’s what Harvard Medical School is saying.

They call the practice “mindfulness meditation” and describe it as “a mind-calming practice that focuses on breathing and awareness of the present moment.”

In a study of 49 middle-age and older adults with trouble sleeping, those who completed a mindfulness awareness program experienced less insomnia, fatigue and depression than those who completed a sleep education class. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Both groups of participants met for the same duration of time and with the same frequency over a six-week period. But the former group was taught practices such as meditation to help them focus on “moment-by-moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions,” while the latter group was taught ways to improve their sleep habits.

One thing that separates the two teachings is that mindfulness meditation triggers what Herbert Benson, M.D., director emeritus of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, calls “the relaxation response.” This deep physiological shift in the body is the opposite of the stress response and can help ease stress-related ailments such as depression, pain and high blood pressure.

Last year, a study published in Sleep concluded that mindfulness meditation “appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia.”

Here’s how Harvard describes a simple method for eliciting the relaxation response:

“Step 1: Choose a calming focus. Good examples are your breath, a sound (‘Om’), a short prayer, a positive word (such as ‘relax’ or peace’) or a phrase (‘breathing in calm, breathing out tension’; ‘I am relaxed’). If you choose a sound, repeat it aloud or silently as you inhale or exhale.

Step 2: Let go and relax. Don’t worry about how you’re doing. When you notice your mind has wandered, simply take a deep breath or say to yourself ‘thinking, thinking’ and gently return your attention to your chosen focus.”

What’s your best tip for helping you sleep? Share in a comment or on our Facebook page. And for more, check out this video highlighting 18 Affordable Tips to Help You Sleep Like a Baby:

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 15 Simple Ways to Burn Calories Without the Gym

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,629 more deals!