Many people have trouble with insomnia and look for effective, non-drug strategies to improve their sleep. A Mindful Way to Healthy Sleep is a self-paced online program which helps people to learn proven skills and strategies to sleep well. The program is based on over 35 years of scientific research, grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) principles plus Mindfulness Training, to strengthen the body’s natural sleep processes and reduce thoughts and behaviours that interfere with sleep. The mindfulness training is particularly helpful for people who worry or ruminate about sleep, as people can learn to detach from thoughts and reduce overthinking that is commonly associated with insomnia. Mindfulness also helps people let go of trying to sleep and creates a state of calm in the mind and body, which increases the likelihood of falling asleep naturally.
The program is accessed at amindfulway.com.au and consists of six, weekly online modules, delivered by video lessons, written content, a course workbook for reflective exercises, downloadable meditation recordings, and a weekly quiz. Each week a new module is unlocked and participants complete the module in their own time. Each module typically takes about two hours to complete, with 15-30 minutes of mindfulness practice encouraged each day.
The program was recently evaluated by researchers at Monash University and was shown to improve insomnia severity and mood, and reduce pre-sleep arousal (racing thoughts and physical agitation experienced when trying to fall asleep) when compared to a wait list control group. In fact, 78% of participants who experienced significant insomnia symptoms before starting the course no longer had insomnia after completing the 6-week program. The paper can be accessed here.
Dr Giselle Withers, A Mindful Way Training, and Dr Melinda Jackson, Monash University.