Meditation boosts reaction time and reduces the need for sleep

New research shows that meditating improves performance on tests of reaction time, and decreases the need for sleep.

Prashant Kaul, Jason Passafiume, and two other colleagues from the Department of Biology at the University of Kentucky assessed whether meditation leads to an improvement on a psychomotor vigilance task, and whether longer bouts of meditation may alter reduce the need for sleep.

Novice meditators, who were university students, completed 40 minutes of meditation, nap, or control activities on six different days, plus one night of total sleep deprivation on a different night, followed by 40 minutes of meditation. A second study examined sleep times in long-term experienced meditators versus non-meditators. The groups continued their normal activities … Read more »