Objectives: Chronic insomnia (CI) is a common sleep disorder linked to stress and various ubiquitous stress-related disorders (e.g. cardiovascular and mental diseases). Previous experimental studies exploring the effects of stress management in CI have confirmed that reducing stress, especially through cognitive methods, could ameliorate symptoms and repercussions of CI. In this 16-week experimental pilot study, we primarily examined the feasibility of a novel method, dubbed Pythagorean Self-Awareness Intervention (PSAI) in 30 CI patients.
Design: This is a pilot experimental study.
Setting: Attikon General Hospital, School of Medicine, University of Athens.
Interventions: PSAI for a period of 8 weeks (8-16 weeks).
Main outcomes: Feasibility data and efficacy measures for sleep quality, cognitive function, perceived stress and hair cortisol.
Results: All eligible patient gave their consent to participate and there were no drop-outs or adverse effects. 43.3%, 30% and 26.7% of patients showed high (PSAI twice per day), moderate (at least three times per week) and low (less than three times per week) compliance, respectively. Morning lack of time and evening tiredness were the main reasons for missing home sessions. Significant improvements in sleep quality, cognitive function, hair cortisol and perceived stress were also recorded especially in patients with higher compliance.
Conclusions: PSAI is a feasible and possibly efficacious stress management method. Future randomized-controlled studies should explore its efficacy in CI.
Keywords: Cognitive; Cortisol; Experimental; Insomnia; Intervention; Stress.
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