Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Vargas, Ivan

Committee Member/Reader

Brown, Mitch

Committee Member/Second Reader

Dorjee, Thupten

Committee Member/Third Reader

Plavcan, Mike


Several recent studies have shown that mindfulness-based practices have been effective in treating sleep problems. However, these studies have primarily looked at multi-component interventions that take place over several weeks or months. No studies have evaluated the efficacy of short-term mindfulness-based practices on sleep the same night. This study aims to do just that. The sample consisted of 10 students attending the University of Arkansas. All participants slept in a sleep laboratory on two consecutive weekday nights. During one night, they completed a mindfulness-based exercise. The other night, they completed a similar control task (counterbalanced). Polysomnography-based sleep data were collected on both nights to assess sleep quality (i.e., sleep efficiency and sleep onset latency). Saliva samples were collected 30 and 0 minutes before bedtime and 0, 15, and 30 minutes post-awakening to assess endocrine stress responses. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean sleep efficiency or mean sleep onset latency between the control night and mindfulness night. There were no significant mean differences in cortisol before bedtime. There were, however, significant group differences in cortisol post-awakening (i.e., lower cortisol at awakening and greater cortisol awakening response following the mindfulness condition). While the results from the current study do not support that an acute mindfulness exercise will have meaningful improvements in sleep the next night, there may be a relation between mindfulness meditation and cortisol stress levels the subsequent day.


Sleep, Mindfulness, Cortisol, Stress, Clinical