Relaxation for insomnia and hypnotic medication use in older women

Psychol Aging. 1993 Mar;8(1):103-11. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.8.1.103.


Relaxation therapy was given to 3 groups of older women (N = 57): (a) hypnotically medicated insomniacs, (b) nonhypnotically medicated insomniacs, and (c) noninsomniacs. Groups b and c were receiving antihypertensives. Self-reported sleep and medication data were collected for 1 week at pretreatment (except relaxation), posttreatment, and 6-weeks follow-up. Three relaxation sessions, a nondemanding, hybrid method, were administered with the rationale of helping insomnia or high blood pressure. Substantial sleep improvement occurred only for nonhypnotically medicated insomniacs. Substantial sleep medication reduction (47%) occurred only for hypnotically medicated insomniacs. This relaxation approach proved valuable, but the nature of the treatment effect was dependent on the medication status of the insomniac.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*
  • Wakefulness / drug effects


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives