The role of physiological attention-focusing in the relaxation treatment of sleep disturbance, general tension, and specific stress reaction

T. D. Borkovec, Bill L. Hennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Three experiments comparing the effects of muscle tension-release relaxation with vs without physiological attention-focusing and no-treatment on (a) sleep disturbance, (b) general tension, and (c) a variety of time estimation, heart rate perception, and stress reaction measures, are reported. The two relaxation conditions produced equivalent reductions in latency to sleep onset reports, suggesting the importance of tension-release in the relaxation treatment of sleep disturbance. Relaxation without physiological attention-focusing was unexpectedly superior to the other relaxation condition in reducing reported daily tension, supporting Denny's (1976) hypothesis that pervasive anxiety may be a function of anxiety conditioned to relaxation-produced cues. Sleep disturbed subjects over-estimated elapsed time, and relaxation training improved accuracy of time estimation. Several additional differences between sleep and tension subjects and among the three treatment conditions on physiological activity during stress are reported and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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