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Treating Sleeplessness with Meditation

One of the tremendous benefits of regular meditation is the reduction of insomnia.

Most people who can't fall asleep at night are usually mulling over situations in their minds, things that didn't get resolved during their day-usually work or personal matters. Meditators, because they de-stress twice daily for 20 minutes at a time, don't usually suffer from sleeplessness. But sometimes eating sugar or consuming caffeine at night can keep them up at night.

Unlike medication, meditation can help treat sleeplessness with remarkable effectiveness. As someone who practiced Meditation from the age of 21 and who taught it for several decades until launching TSM Meditation in 2006, I can speak from extensive personal experience, and from my experience with thousands of students, that people with sleeping difficulties should seriously consider learning how to meditate. It works - even in psychiatric hospitals where insomnia is commonplace.

Practiced twice a day in the morning and early evening for 20 minutes at a time, meditation serves as a preparation for activity, and gives the body more energy. But when sleeplessness keeps a person tossing and turning and counting more sheep than shepherds, meditation serves to put that person to sleep very shortly. Why does TSM Meditation help get a sleepless person to sleep--or back to sleep in the middle of the night more quickly? Stress reduction. With regular practice, stress is reduced and insomnia can not get a foothold. And Meditation gives the body what it most needs each time we practice. During the day the body needs energy; late at night when it needs to repair itself from the fatigue and stress of the day through sleep, the body needs to rest. Meditation is a natural method which only produces side benefits, not side effects. It gives the body what it needs when it needs it.

Sleep Problems, Stress and Time Pressure

As far as health goes, those who sleep fewer than six hours a night don't live as long as those who sleep seven hours or more. Sleeping only four hours a night can cause weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. And the disasters are not limited to health—sleeplessness costs the U.S. economy $150 billion a year in higher levels of worker stress and reduced productivity, estimates the National Sleep Foundation.

What are the causes of this epidemic? One of the reasons that insomnia (defined as having trouble sleeping) is on the rise in America is the high stress levels and time pressures associated with modern living.

Americans frequently fall into a vicious cycle, with stress during the day causing them to be too tense or worried to fall asleep at night. And then the lack of sleep, in turn, creates more stress on the job and at home. Others simply choose to short-change their sleep. "Our society seems to place a moral value on sleeping as little as possible," says Dr. Eve Van Couter, head of a recent research study at the University of Chicago. For whatever reason, Americans today often sleep less than six hours a night, making them highly vulnerable to sleep disorders, the stress syndrome, and to multiple health problems.

Our Solution to sleep problems, based of a large body of scientific evidence: Meditate twice a day.