Relaxation to assist sleep medication withdrawal.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

This study explores the usefulness of relaxation and gradual medication withdrawal in weaning insomniacs from sleep (hypnotic) medication. We recruited 40 volunteers from the community who had insomnia, half of whom were chronic users of hypnotics while the other half were nonmedicated. Half of all participants (10 medicated and 10 nonmedicated) received progressive relaxation. All medicated participants received a standard gradual drug withdrawal program. Medicated participants reduced sleep medication consumption by nearly 80%. Participants who received relaxation obtained additional benefits in sleep efficiency, rated quality of sleep, and reduced withdrawal symptoms. Medicated and nonmedicated participants attained comparable, improved sleep by posttreatment and follow-up. Hypnotic withdrawal was accompanied by serious worsening of insomnia, but this dissipated by the end of the withdrawal period. The psychological treatment of hypnotic-dependent insomnia has high potential for making an important clinical contribution.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lichstein, KL; Peterson, BA; Riedel, BW; Means, MK; Epperson, MT; Aguillard, RN

Published Date

  • July 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 379 - 402

PubMed ID

  • 10467890

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0145-4455

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0145445599233003


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States