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Meditation Reducing Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation (n=10)

Meditation is Effective in Reducing Sleepiness and Improving Sustained Attention Following Acute Sleep Restriction
information processing requires appropriate mobilization of mental
resources. Sleep loss increases homeostatic sleep pressure, thereby
reducing mobilization of mental resources and consequently diminishing
attention function. Meditation techniques engage attention processes and
mobilize mental resources needed to sustain control of these processes,
suggesting a promising role for meditation in counteracting attention
deficits associated with sleep loss. Following a 21-day training period
with a concentrative form of yoga nidra meditation, participants
completed tests of sustained attention and attention interference
control, and reported sleepiness and fatigue before and after restricted
sleep, and then again after a session of meditation or rest following a
crossover design. Sustained attention, sleepiness, and fatigue, but not
attention interference control, were impaired following a single night
of sleep restriction. Following a session of meditation, sustained
attention performance improved and sleepiness decreased. Rest alone did
not provide these benefits. These findings provide evidence that
meditation can improve attention deficits following sleep loss. The
impact of meditation on attention can be explained by reduced
mobilization of mental processes since this improvement was associated
with reduced sleepiness. A brief period of meditation training appears
to be sufficient to elicit meditation benefits for attention following
sleep loss. However, the duration of improvement following a bout of
meditation remains unknown.