10-Minute Tension Tamer: A Technique to Manage Insomnia

A latest study on insomnia suggests a simple 10-minute exercise to reduce tension which will help people with sleep problems to sleep better.

The research was conducted by Dr. Arn Eliasson at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda.

The findings of this study were presented at the annual conference of the American college of Chest Physicians, Atlanta.


About 30-40% of all adults suffer from some symptoms of insomnia and more than 10% of them suffer from chronic insomnia. The study involved screening of 199 women and 135 men in the age group of 56 years.

They comprised mostly of ex-military service personnel and their dependants. A small fraction of them were victims of PSTD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Highlights of the Research

For the purpose of the study the participants were required to answer a questionnaire consisting of 14 items. It was designed to measure the degree of the stress as perceived by the participant. It also had questions on:

  • Time taken to fall asleep
  • Duration of sleep
  • Frequency of sleep disturbances
  • Use of sleeping pills
  • How often fatigue interrupted their daytime activities in the last one month

These participants were then made to attend the Tension Tamer sessions at the institute. The program consisted of a 30-minute introductory session followed by 4 more 30- minute sessions on stress management where specialists taught them the practice of the ten-minute bedtime routine to be followed religiously after the program. The participants were again required to take the questionnaire. The two surveys were assessed and compared for results.

Findings of the Research

Data analysis showed that among the participants, 65% of them reported improved sleep quality. They also reported decreased fatigue and lesser time taken to fall asleep. The main reason cited for the success of this experiment is said to be stress reduction. Making sleep a priority and reducing stress resulted in better quality of sleep and helped reduce the symptoms of insomnia.