Sleep Disorders |

Novel Stress Reduction Technique Improves Sleep and Fatigue FREE TO VIEW

Mariam Kashani*, NP; Arn Eliasson, MD; Karla Bailey, BA; Marina Vernalis, DO
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Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Chest. 2012;142(4_MeetingAbstracts):1052A. doi:10.1378/chest.1361738
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PRESENTED ON: Monday, October 22, 2012 at 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

PURPOSE: A growing body of evidence substantiates the important roles of stress and sleep in cardiovascular disease. We sought to determine the effect of a brief, portable stress reduction technique, the ten-minute Tension Tamer on improvement of stress levels and sleep parameters in a heart health program.

METHODS: Adult men and women self-referred or referred to the Integrative Cardiac Health Project were assessed for levels of perceived stress and sleep quality using validated surveys. Subjective stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS14, total possible points 56); sleep quality was evaluated with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI, total possible points 21); fatigue was assessed using the 10 point fatigue scale. After a 30-minute introductory workshop, subjects were given instruction and guided opportunities to practice ten-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. Upon completion of the four visit practice sequence, validated surveys were reassessed and compared with baseline values using t-tests.

RESULTS: Of 334 subjects (mean age 55.7 years, 135 men, 200 Caucasian, 117 African-American, 14 Latino, 3 other), 218 (65%, mean age 56.6 years, 40% men) improved their perceived stress by 6.6 points (p<0.001) using the Tension Tamer technique. Non-improvers, 116 subjects (34%, mean age 59.7, 41% men) showed worsened stress levels by 4.6 points. Comparing Improvers with Non-Improvers showed significant differences in sleep quality (PSQI improved 1.78 vs worsened 0.89 points, p<0.001), decreased sleep latency (decreased 4 vs increased 1.9 minutes, p=0.04), and decreased fatigue (decreased 0.89 vs increased 0.27 points, p<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: A novel stress reduction technique, the ten-minute Tension Tamer, can reduce perceived stress levels in a majority of subjects resulting in improved sleep quality, decreased sleep latency and improved fatigue.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Using a portable stress reduction technique in short intervals may be a unique approach to improve cardiovascular risk through sleep improvement.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Mariam Kashani, Arn Eliasson, Karla Bailey, Marina Vernalis

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Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD




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