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Brent Skall

Professional 3 Clinical: Tuesday 0700-1300


1. Meditation is Effective in Reducing Sleepiness and Improving Sustained Attention

Following Acute Sleep Restriction

The purpose of this study was to determine whether meditation is effective in reducing

sleepiness and improving sustained attention following the restriction of sleep over a short

period of time. The study participants were chosen through community advertising and

included ten individuals (five males, and five females). The individuals selected had no prior

experience in meditation and all were scored as having good sleep quality according to the

Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). They also had to apply with certain criteria such as not

being a current shift worker, recreational drug user in previous 6 months, history of sleep

disorders, and stimulant use. During the study, participants followed a 21-day training period

with a concentrative form of yoga nidra meditation. Participants then completed tests of

sustained attention and attention interference control and reported sleepiness and fatigue before

and after restricted sleep, and again after a session of meditation. The result of the study was

that following meditation, sustained attention performance improved, and sleepiness decreased.

In addition, reaction time returned to performance levels observed prior to sleep restriction.

The present findings would suggest that meditation can benefit attention function to the extent

that in can provide recovery. More studies would be necessary, however, because participants

did not follow a long-term meditation regimen.


2. Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction - A Scientific Statement from the American

Heart Association

In a journal by the American Heart Association (AHA), they try to determine the correlation

between meditation and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. This article pulls

information from a variety of different studies. The AHA noted that studies of mediation

suggest a possible benefit on cardiovascular risk, yet, the quantity of study data is limited.

They suggest that studies should utilize random study design, achieve low drop-out rates, and

include low drop-out rates. The best thing about mediation is that it is very cost-effective and

many times can be learned from publications, the internet, and courses for little to no cost.

Furthermore, it has been noted that mediation had a positive effect on reducing blood pressure,

a significant cause of cardiovascular disease. In one particular study of 83 predominantly

hypertensive blacks, an 11/4 mmHg decrease in blood pressure was observed. Interestingly,

mindful meditation has also been shown to improve smoking cessation rates. It is said to help

manage cravings and decrease negative effect through mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

In conclusion, studies do suggest possible benefits of meditation on cardiovascular risk

reduction. Furthermore, meditation may be considered as a reasonable adjunct to guideline-

directed cardiovascular risk reduction related to lifestyle modification. The AHA recommend

that further research on meditation be conducted with larger, more randomized samples.