Deep Breathing May Help Insomnia

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Feb 02, 2009

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Cancer patients are three to five times more likely than healthy people to suffer from insomnia and sleep disruptions. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (2008; 4 [5], 403–405), breathing rates, heart rates and cortisol levels can help predict whether women with breast cancer will experience sleep issues.

Researchers from University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, Stanford University in California and the University of Griefswald in Griefswald, Germany, participated in the study, which recruited 99 women with metastatic breast cancer.

Scientists discovered that subjects who had lower heart rate variability during a stress task and lower cortisol levels slept more and enjoyed better-quality sleep than others in the trial.

Changes in heart rate are regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system. “We were able to identify the role that [this] system plays in insomnia,” lead study author Oxana Palesh, PhD, research assistant at Rochester’s James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, told Newswise. Palesh added, “It’s reasonable to suggest that simple breathing exercises may help more than we realize with insomnia.”

Palesh recommended using deep diaphragmatic breathing exercises—such as those taught in yoga or meditation—to thwart insomnia and sleep disruptions.

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 6, Issue 2

© 2009 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in L...

0 Comments

Trending Articles

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Recipe for Health: Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers

If you don’t believe that authentic Mexican cookery is “whole” and healthy, you need to take a deep dive into Mexico: The Cookbook (Phaidon 2014), the first truly comprehensive bible...

Low Intensity vs. High Intensity: Which Is Best for Obese Adults?

The debate continues regarding the most effective exercise measures for reducing abdominal obesity and improving glucose measures.

The Reason Your Clients Don't Acieve Their Goals

Lots of people hire personal trainers or join group fitness classes hoping to lose weight. Yet many fail to meet their goals. New research suggests that “progress bias”—overestimatin...

Next