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Is mindfulness associated with insomnia after menopause?

Garcia, Marcelo Csermak MSc1; Pompéia, Sabine PhD1; Hachul, Helena MD, PhD1,2,3; Kozasa, Elisa H. PhD1,4; de Souza, Altay Alves L. PhD1; Tufik, Sergio MD, PhD1; Mello, Luiz Eugênio A.M. MD, PhD1,5

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31829996fc
Brief Report

Objective Mindfulness has been defined as being intentionally aware of internal and external experiences that occur at the present moment, without judgment. Techniques that develop mindfulness, such as meditation, have positive effects on reducing insomnia, a sleep disorder that is common both during and after menopause. Our aim was to establish whether postmenopausal women with insomnia are less mindful than postmenopausal women without sleep disorders.

Methods Postmenopausal women aged 50 to 65 years who did not use hormone therapy were recruited for the study. The sample included 14 women with insomnia and 12 women without insomnia or any other sleep disorder. The groups were comparable in age, schooling, and anxiety level. To assess mindfulness, we used the validated Mindful Attention Awareness Scale and the attentiveness domain of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule—Expanded Form.

Results Participants with insomnia were less mindful than healthy women. The level of mindfulness was able to discriminate the group with insomnia from the healthy group, with 71.4% accuracy.

Conclusions Postmenopausal women with insomnia are less mindful than women without insomnia. Mindfulness-based interventions, such as meditation, may be beneficial for postmenopausal insomnia.

From the Departament of 1Psychobiology, 2Gynecology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 3Casa de Saúde Santa Marcelina, São Paulo, Brazil; 4Instituto do Cérebro, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil; and 5Departament of Physiology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Received March 17, 2013; revised and accepted April 29, 2013.

Funding/support: This study was supported by the Associação Fundo de Incentivo à Pesquisa and Coodenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior. S.P., S.T., and L.E.A.M.M. received research grants from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico. These nonprofit organizations sponsor research in Brazil.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Helena Hachul, MD, PhD, Rua Napoleão de Barros, 925 CEP 04024-002, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. E-mail: helena.hachul@hotmail.com

© 2014 by The North American Menopause Society.