Treatment of Chronic Nightmares Using Progressive Relaxation Training
Anxiety, Nightmares, Relaxation--Technique, Sleep disorders
This study investigated the effects of progressive muscle relatxation on the frequency of, and the anxiety associated with, chronic nightmares. Three females diagnosed as suffering from an anxiety disorder and who experienced at least two nightmares per week served as subjects. Treatments consisted of practicing progressive relaxation trainig twice daily with the assistance of a tape-recorded exercise. The first practice occurred prior to 3:00 p.m. and the second practice occurred before retiring at night. Subjects recorded nightmare frequency, intensity, and theme on the Daily Nightmare Questionnaire (DNQ). In addition, nightmare-associated anxiety was measured daily with the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Both DNQ and STAI data were collected daily via the telephone. The study utilized a multiple baseline strategy across subjects, and all subjects showed a decline in both nightmare frequency and state and trait anxiety levels. A mean reduction of .96 nightmares per week resulted. This study demonstrated that a basic relaxation exercise, which does not address possible intrapsychic variables, was effective in nightmare reduction through a reduction in levels of anxiety.
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Jensen, Bernard J.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Trefonas, Jennifer R., "Treatment of Chronic Nightmares Using Progressive Relaxation Training" (1987). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 4987.