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Study to Look at Mediation as Sleep Aid for Cancer Patients

September 11th 2009

University of Utah scientists will examine the effectiveness of meditation as a sleep aid for cancer patients, according to several reports.
By David Fisher

A new study will examine the effectiveness of meditation as a sleep aid for cancer patients, according to several reports.

University of Utah scientists will seek cancer patients, ages 18 to 65, who have recently completed their treatment in order to study the efficacy of “mindfulness meditation” and “mind-body bridging.”

“Awareness training using mind-body interventions is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to pharmacotherapy, which may have many side effects,” said University of Utah researcher David Lipschitz, who conduct the study, according to Scripps Howard News Service.

Cancer patients, Lipschitz told the Salt Lake Tribune, are seen are prime candidates for the study because they are affected physically and psychologically by the disease.

“In many cases, these effects persist well after treatment is over since people have concerns about the cancer returning,” said Lipschitz, according to the New Zealand Press Association. “Sleep problems are frequent in many post-treatment cancer patients and many of them are taking medications for better sleep.”

Combining mediation and yoga, mindfulness mediation teaches one to be aware of their thoughts and focuses one’s mind on the present. Several studies suggest the technique decreases stress and boosts the immune system.