CHEST: Novel Stress Reduction Method Can Improve Sleep

Ten-minute tension tamer technique linked to less perceived stress; improved sleep quality, fatigue

MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A simple stress reduction technique, the 10-minute "Tension Tamer," can significantly reduce stress and improve sleep quality and fatigue, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from Oct. 20 to 25 in Atlanta.

To evaluate the effects of the tension tamer stress reduction technique on perceived stress and sleep quality, Mariam Kashani, N.P., of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues conducted a study involving 334 adult men and women enrolled in the Integrative Cardiac Health Project. Participants were instructed in the technique, involving deep breathing and imagery, and were given opportunities to practice over the course of four visits with a stress management specialist. Subjective stress and sleep quality were assessed at baseline and after completion of the four practice sequences.

The researchers found that 65 percent of participants experienced a significant improvement in their perceived stress (6.6 point improvement). Non-improvers experienced a 4.6 point worsening of their stress levels. Compared with non-improvers, improvers experienced significant benefits in sleep quality, decreased sleep latency, and decreased fatigue.

"Using a portable stress reduction technique in short intervals may be a unique approach to improve cardiovascular risk through sleep improvement," the authors write.

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