Back to top

Stress Management for the Treatment of Sleep Disorders in Lawyers: Pilot Experimental Study in Athens, Hellas

Citation: Christina, D., Panagiotis, K., Liza, V., and CP, George. Sleep Disorder Treatment Care, Volume 5, Issue 2. April 2016. Full paper.

Abstract

Objective: The products of the hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal axis (HPA) and the autonomic nervous system as a result of stressful life events are closely related to the occurrence of chronic insomnia. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether a stress management intervention program can reduce the subjective reactions which are associated with stress and the symptoms of insomnia in a sample of 40 lawyers of Athens Bar Association.

Methods: This was a two-armed, parallel group, randomized controlled study with about a 1:1 allocation ratio of lawyers with primary insomnia to the intervention and the wait-list control group and a follow up period of 8-weeks. The stress management technique program, included progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), relaxation breathing technique, autogenic training, Guided Imagery and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Validated scales were used to measure variables (AIS, PSS 14, Dass-21, ΗLC, Rosenberg Self-esteem scale and Greek PSQI).

Results: A total of 40 people were selected to enter the study and were randomly allocated into two groups, intervention group and control group (21 and 19 respectively). Individuals in the intervention group experienced a statistical significant improvement in sleep parameters. There was a statistically significant reduction in depression (p=0.015) and stress levels (p=0.029) pre- and postintervention in the stress management group. Furthermore, we recorded moderate amelioration in insomnia and sleep quality (effect sizes 0.3 and 0.32 respectively).

Conclusion: We provide evidence that stress management may merit some benefits at improving sleep, by means of both insomnia and quality of sleep improvement.

Craig’s Notes

This study, conducted in Athens, Greece investigated whether a stress management intervention program would reduce symptoms of stress and insomnia in lawyers.

A total of 40 lawyers who suffered from primary insomnia participated in the study. They were divided into an intervention group and a control group. The intervention group were taught stress management techniques including EFT, progressive muscle relaxation, relaxation breathing technique, and guided imagery.

At an 8-week follow-up, researchers found a statistically significant improvement in the lawyers’ sleep parameters as well as a significant reduction in depression and stress levels. They further noted some amelioration in insomnia and sleep quality and concluded that stress management techniques could result in improvements in quality of sleep.