How Effective is iRest? The Proof is Within—but Research Helps, Too

How Effective is iRest? The Proof is Within—but Research Helps, Too

Most folks can agree that a nice, deep meditative practice feels good. Yet not everyone realizes that those good feelings are backed by actual science and research. Over the years, the iRest Institute has either participated in or drawn from a range of in-depth studies to better understand how meditation—and specifically, iRest—affects our bodies. Below are a few of our favorite gleanings, which highlight the transformative potential of iRest. 

Isn’t it fascinating to see how data can confirm what our bodies already know to be true? For more evidence of the power of iRest, check out the research section of our website.


Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is, by all indications, on the rise. This study tracked the effects of the iRest 10-Step Protocol on 60 workers for four weeks. Results revealed a significant decrease in stress levels reported by participants who took part in the iRest meditation group. 


College Life

College life can present unique challenges, including social pressures, financial worry, and achievement anxiety. This study observed 66 students as they engaged in an eight-week iRest program. Statistically significant improvements in perceived stress, worry, and depression were discovered.  


Older Adults

As our bodies age, our physiological reserves drain, making us more likely to be affected by stress and more susceptible to depression. This study surveyed 30 adults aged 55–90 who exhibited depression symptoms.  Preliminary results demonstrated improvements in sleep impairment, lessening of pain severity, and promising improvement in depression symptoms.  


Intimate Partner Violence 

One-quarter of women experience intimate partner violence, making it more prevalent than breast cancer and diabetes combined. This study tested the feasibility of iRest as an intervention for trauma recovery for survivors of intimate partner violence. Quantitative analysis revealed a decrease in PTSD, anxiety, stress, and depression. Qualitative analysis revealed a primary construct of “finding and connecting with inner self”. 



The homeless often endure increased levels of stress and emotional distress in the quest to securely meet their basic needs. In this study, self-report measures were collected from 117 meditation group participants and 79 participants who received shelter services. The results suggest that brief iRest training may effectively reduce negative psychological states and enhance quality of life for homeless adults. This study also underscores the need for further research that includes homeless, high-risk, and low-income populations.


Chemical Dependency

According to the World Health Organization, some 31 million persons have drug use disorders, while another 3.3 million people die of alcohol-related deaths worldwide. This research investigated the effect of meditation on warning signs of relapse among adults in residential treatment for chemical dependency. Results showed that meditation increased participants' mindfulness, decreased negative mood, and reduced warning signs of relapse.  

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