Want to reduce inflammation and promote health? Sleep better and get moving!
Inflammation is a naturally occurring process throughout the body, which is a primary function of the healing process following an injury. When inflammation is too active, the body suffers in many ways including an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, cancers, as well as other medical conditions. What if there was a way to help reduce stress and sleep better, all while improving your health? Researchers have found the answer.
Stress and sleep disorders are primary contributors of inflammation. One of the most common sleep disorders, known as insomnia, leads to comorbidities, depression, and death. Recent studies published in the Biological Psychiatry have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy or movement meditation therapy, such as tai chi, helps reduce inflammation throughout the body for people that are ages 55 and older who also suffer from insomnia. These types of behavioral interventions, combined with physical exercise and a healthy diet, promote health and reduce morbidities that are age-related.
The study involved 123 older adults that were plagued with insomnia. The participants randomly received one of three types of classes to treat their insomnia. The classes included cognitive behavior therapy, sleep seminar, or movement meditation therapy. Researchers found that participants who engaged in either cognitive behavior therapy or movement meditation therapy, such as tai chi, showed significant improvement in their inflammatory markers and reduced signs of insomnia. Participants who took the sleep seminar showed no signs of improvement.
The results of this study remind us how important mental health is to the overall health of our body. Without a healthy mind, one simply cannot have a healthy body. There are certainly behavioral approaches that not only help reduce stress and improve one’s quality of sleep but help to improve your overall health as well.
Better Sleep and Tai Chi Reduce Inflammation and Promote Health. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/about/press-releases/research-and-journals/better-sleep-and-tai-chi-reduce-inflammation-and-promote-health