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Behav Res Ther. 1989;27(1):79-88.

A controlled comparative investigation of psychological treatments for chronic sleep-onset insomnia.


A sample of physician-referred chronic insomniacs was randomly allocated to either progressive relaxation, stimulus control, paradoxical intention, placebo or no treatment conditions. Treatment process and outcome were investigated in terms of mean and standard deviation (night to night variability) measures of sleep pattern and sleep quality. Only active treatments were associated with significant improvement, but the nature of treatment gains varied. In particular, stimulus control improved sleep pattern, whereas relaxation affected perception of sleep quality. All improvements were maintained at 17 month follow-up. Results are discussed with reference to previous research and guidelines are given for clinical practice.

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