Two sessions of sleep-focused mind-body bridging improve self-reported symptoms of sleep and PTSD in veterans: A pilot randomized controlled trial

J Psychosom Res. 2011 Apr;70(4):335-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2010.09.007. Epub 2010 Dec 16.


Objective: Sleep disturbance is highly prevalent among veterans. As an alternative to sleep medications with their undesirable side effects, nonpharmacological mind-body interventions may be beneficial for sleep management in primary care. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate whether a novel mind-body intervention, mind-body bridging (MBB), focusing on sleep, could improve self-reported sleep disturbance and comorbid symptoms in veterans.

Methods: This pilot study was a randomized controlled trial at the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System in which 63 veterans with self-reported sleep disturbance received MBB or an active sleep education control. Both interventions were conducted in two sessions, once per week. Patient-reported outcomes included the following: primary-Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Sleep Survey, MOS Short Form-36V; secondary-Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression, PTSD Check List-Military, Five-Factor Mindfulness Questionnaire.

Results: At both Week 1 (1 week after the first session) and post-intervention assessments, while sleep disturbance decreased in both groups, MBB performed significantly better than did the control group. Furthermore, self-reported PTSD symptoms improved in MBB, while they remained unchanged in the control. Overall mindfulness increased in MBB, while it remained unchanged in the control.

Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence that a brief sleep-focused MBB could be a promising intervention for sleep and potentially other comorbid symptoms (e.g., PTSD). MBB could help patients develop awareness skills to deal with sleep-related symptoms. Integration of MBB into primary care settings may enhance care of patients with sleep disturbance and co-morbid symptoms.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Awareness
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans / psychology*