Get Better Sleep
If you're having trouble sleeping, meditation could help put your busy thoughts and body to rest. A recent study published in JAMA had a group of older men and women with sleep problems go through one of two programs: some were instructed to establish a good, classic sleep routine (like setting a solid bedtime and staying off alcohol or caffeine well before bed); the rest learned to meditate. Those who meditated went through a six-week mindfulness program where they learned how to think without judgment about the various thoughts floating through their minds and focus on the present moment. Armed with this, their sleep quality improved significantly more than those who simply set a routine after one year. They also reported feeling fewer symptoms of depression and fatigue. "We know that when people do practice you see decreases in insomnia and depression that are clinically meaningful," says Irwin. "And when I say 'clinically', they're producing the same level benefits of more standard treatments."