A simple stress reduction technique can help relieve stress and improve sleep quality, say researchers.
Researchers from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, attempted to determine the effect of a brief, stress reduction technique, the 10-minute Tension Tamer, on improvement of stress levels and sleep parameters in 334 patients in a heart health program. After a 30-minute introductory workshop, subjects were given instruction and guided opportunities to practice 10-minute Tension Tamers over the course of four 30-minute visits with a stress management specialist. This brief technique, encouraged at bedtime, involves deep breathing and imagery using the subject's personal preference. Of the patients, 65% improved their perceived stress by 6.6 points; while those not improving showed worsened stress levels by 4.6 points. Improvers also reported better sleep quality, decreased sleep latency, and decreased fatigue. This study was presented during CHEST 2012, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 20 - 25, in Atlanta, Georgia.