Meditation creates a unique state, in which the metabolism is in an even deeper state of rest than during sleep. During sleep, oxygen consumption drops by 8 percent, but during meditation, it drops by 10 to 20 percent.
• Meditation is the only activity that reduces blood lactate, a marker of stress and anxiety.
• The calming hormones melatonin and serotonin are increased by meditation, and the stress hormone cortisol is decreased.
• Meditation has a profound effect upon three key indicators of aging: hearing ability, blood pressure, and vision of close objects.
• Long-term meditators experience 80 percent less heart disease and 50 percent less cancer than nonmeditators.
• Meditators secrete more of the youth-related hormone DHEA as they age than nonmeditators. Meditating forty-five-year-old males have an average of 23 percent more DHEA than nonmeditators, and meditating females have an average of 47 percent more. This helps decrease stress, heighten memory, preserve sexual function, and control weight.
• 75 percent of insomniacs were able to sleep normally when they meditated.
• 34 percent of people with chronic pain significantly reduced medication when they began meditating.
• Results show that 24 cities in which 1% of the population had been instructed in meditation in 1972 displayed decreased crime rates during the next year and decreased crime trends during the subsequent five years (1972-1977) in comparison to the previous five years (1967-1972), in contrast to control cities matched for geographic region, population, college population, and crime rate.
Journal of Crime and Justice, 4:25-45, 1981.
Except for the last item these statistics are found in “Meditation as Medicine” by Dharma Singh Khalsa, 2001.