A mindfulness meditation mobile app improves depression and anxiety in adults with sleep disturbance: Analysis from a randomized controlled trial

Jennifer Huberty, Megan E. Puzia, Jeni Green, Robert D. Vlisides-Henry, Linda Larkey, Michael R. Irwin, Ana Maria Vranceanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to 1) determine the effects of a meditation app on depression and anxiety in adults with sleep disturbance, and 2) explore the potential mediating effects of fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and pre-sleep arousal on the relationship between use of the meditation app and changes in depression and anxiety. Methods: Participants were 239 adults with elevated insomnia symptoms (i.e., scores ≥ 10 on the Insomnia Severity Index) and limited or no previous experience with meditation. Depression, anxiety, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and pre-sleep arousal were assessed at baseline, four weeks, and eight weeks. Repeated-measures ANCOVAs assessed intervention effects on depression and anxiety. Mediation models were estimated using the PROCESS macro. Results: Participants in the meditation group had more improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms during the intervention period than did those in the control group. Changes in somatic and cognitive pre-sleep arousal at mid-intervention fully mediated effects on depression and partially mediated effects on anxiety. There were no significant indirect effects of fatigue and daytime-sleepiness on changes in mental health. Conclusions: A meditation app may improve depression and anxiety in adults with sleep disturbance, with effects being driven by improvements in pre-sleep arousal. Future studies should consider targeting pre-sleep arousal to improve mental health in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

Keywords

  • Consumer-based products
  • Digital interventions
  • Insomnia
  • Meditation
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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