DOI: 10.14704/nq.2018.16.11.1457

Meditation as a Preventive Sleep Medicine

J. Shashi Kiran Reddy, Sisir Roy


Our failure in devising effective clinical measures for different sleep disorders results from the fact that we don’t really understand the role and functioning of sleep in maintaining the body to its extent. Within this context, we share a possible connection between meditation and sleep and discuss how the study of one may help in understanding the other better. Such a correlation and connection can give us novel insights in knowing the fundamental nature and purpose of sleep in one’s life. The possible influence of the practice of meditation on sleep quality also gives a promising hope for different sleep problems. From this viewpoint, meditation may serve as a non-invasive and preventive sleep medicine.


Sleep; Meditation; Sleep Medicine; Neural Noise

Full Text:



Ananthaswamy A. The man who wasn’t there: Investigations into the strange new science of the self. Dutton; 2015.

Bærentsen KB. Patanjali and neuroscientific research on meditation. Frontiers in Psychology 2015; 6: 915.

Black DS, O’reilly GA, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR. Mindfulness meditation and improvement in sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disturbances: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA İnternal Medicine 2015;175(4): 494-501.

Braboszcz C, Hahusseau S, Delorme A. Meditation and neuroscience: from basic research to clinical practice. Integrative clinical psychology, psychiatry and behavioral medicine: Perspectives, practices and research. Springer 2010:1910-29.

Braboszcz, C., Cahn, B. R., Levy, J., Fernandez, M., and Delorme, A. Increased Gamma Brainwave Amplitude Compared to Control in Three Different Meditation Traditions, PLoS ONE 2017; 12(1): 1-27.

Brower KJ, Perron BE. Sleep disturbance as a universal risk factor for relapse in addictions to psychoactive substances. Medical Hypotheses 2010; 74(5): 928-33.

Dahl CJ, Lutz A, Davidson RJ. Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2015; 19(9): 515-23.

Dentico D, Ferrarelli F, Riedner BA, Smith R, Zennig C, Lutz A, Tononi G, Davidson RJ. Short meditation trainings enhance non-REM sleep low-frequency oscillations. PLoS One 2016; 11(2): e0148961.

Dinstein I, Heeger DJ, Behrmann M. Neural variability: friend or foe?. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2015; 19(6): 322-28.

Dissanayaka C, Ben-Simon E, Gruberger M, Maron-Katz A, Sharon H, Hendler T, Cvetkovic D. Comparison between human awake, meditation and drowsiness EEG activities based on directed transfer function and MVDR coherence methods. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing 2015; 53(7): 599-607.

Hodgson SH. The metaphysic of experience. London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1898.

Hubbling A, Reilly-Spong M, Kreitzer MJ, Gross CR. How mindfulness changed my sleep: Focus groups with chronic insomnia patients. BMC complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014; 14(1): 50.

Krause AJ, Simon EB, Mander BA, Greer SM, Saletin JM, Goldstein-Piekarski AN, Walker MP. The sleep-deprived human brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2017; 18(7): 404-18.

Krueger JM, Frank MG, Wisor JP, Roy S. Sleep function: toward elucidating an enigma. Sleep Medicine Reviews 2016; 28: 46-54.

McDonnell MD, Ward LM. The benefits of noise in neural systems: bridging theory and experiment. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2011; 12(7): 415-26.

Mota-Rolim SA, Araujo JF. Neurobiology and clinical implications of lucid dreaming. Medical Hypotheses 2013; 81(5): 751-56.

Nagendra RP, Maruthai N, Kutty BM. Meditation and its regulatory role on sleep. Frontiers in Neurology 2012; 3: 54.

Parrino L, Vaudano AE. The resilient brain and the guardians of sleep: New perspectives on old assumptions. Sleep Medicine Reviews 2018; 39: 98-107.

Raven F, Van der Zee EA, Meerlo P, Havekes R. The role of sleep in regulating structural plasticity and synaptic strength: Implications for memory and cognitive function. Sleep Medicine Reviews 2017.

Reddy JSK, Pereira C. On Science & the perception of Reality. Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 2016; 7(7): 584-87

Reddy JSK. A novel subject-object model of consciousness. NeuroQuantology 2017a; 15(1): 79-85.

Reddy JSK. Subjective Science and Absolute Reality. Journal of Consciousness, 2017b; 18 (60) - 663-674.

Reddy JSK, Roy S. Consciousness as an Inhibited Manifestation and Quantum Physics. Integrative

Physiological and Behavioral Science 2018a; 52(4): 694-701.

Reddy JSK, Roy S. Issues, Possibilities and the role of neural noise in Meditation Research. Rev. Simbio-Logias 2018b; 10 (13). 10.32905/19833253.2018.13.10p149

Reddy JSK, Roy S. Commentary: Patanjali and neuroscientific research on meditation. Front. Psychol. 2018c; 9:248. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00248

Reddy JSK, Roy S, Pereira A Jr and Edilene SL. The ‘Self’ Aspects: The Sense of Presence, Identification, and Location. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science 2018d (Accepted).

Roy S, Llinás R. The role of noise in brain function. InScience: Image In Action. Singapore: World Scientific Publishers, 2012: 34-44.

Roy S. Decision Making and Modelling in Cognitive Science. Springer India, 2016.

Sharma A. Sleep as a state of consciousness in Advaita Vedanta. State University of New York Press, Albany, 2004.

Saraswati SS. Yoga Nidra. Bihar: Yoga Publications Trust, 2008.

Schmidt S. Opening Up Meditation for Science: The Development of a Meditation Classification System. In: Schmidt S, Walach H, editors. Meditation - Neuroscientific Approaches and Philosophical Implications. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2014:137-52.

Schulze G. Sleep protects excitatory cortical circuits against oxidative damage. Medical Hypotheses 2004; 63(2): 203-07.

Tang YY, Hölzel BK, Posner MI. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2015; 16(4): 213-25.

Travis F, Haaga DA, Hagelin J, Tanner M, Arenander A, Nidich S, Gaylord-King C, Grosswald S, Rainforth M, Schneider RH. A self-referential default brain state: patterns of coherence, power, and eLORETA sources during eyes-closed rest and Transcendental Meditation practice. Cognitive Processing 2010; 11(1): 21-30.

Travis F. States of Consciousness Beyond Waking, Dreaming and Sleeping: Perspectives from Research on Meditation Experiences. In: Cvetkovic D, Cosic I, editors. States of consciousness: Experimental insights into meditation, waking, sleep and dreams. New York: Springer; 2011: 257-72.

Tsoukalas I. Conceiving God: Perversions and Brainstorms: A Thesis on the Origins of Human Religiosity. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.

Voss U, Holzmann R, Tuin I, Hobson AJ. Lucid dreaming: a state of consciousness with features of both waking and non-lucid dreaming. Sleep 2009; 32(9): 1191-200.

Voss U, Holzmann R, Hobson A, Paulus W, Koppehele-Gossel J, Klimke A, Nitsche MA. Induction of self awareness in dreams through frontal low current stimulation of gamma activity. Nature Neuroscience 2014; 17(6): 810-12.

Wang F, Lee OE, Feng F, Vitiello MV, Wang W, Benson H, Fricchione GL, Denninger JW. The effect of meditative movement on sleep quality: a systematic review. Sleep medicine Reviews 2016; 30: 43-52.

Winbush NY, Gross CR, Kreitzer MJ. The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on sleep disturbance: a systematic review. EXPLORE: the Journal of Science and Healing 2007; 3(6): 585-91.

Xie L, Kang H, Xu Q, Chen MJ, Liao Y, Thiyagarajan M, O’Donnell J, Christensen DJ, Nicholson C, Iliff JJ, Takano T. Sleep drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain. Science 2013; 342(6156): 373-77.

Supporting Agencies

Prof. Sisir Roy would like to acknowledge Homi Bhabha Trust, Mumbai for their Support.

| NeuroScience + QuantumPhysics> NeuroQuantology :: Copyright 2001-2019