The Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Relaxation Training and Sleep Hygiene Education for Insomnia of Depressed Patients

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Insomnia is a frequent complaint of patients with major depressive disorder. The lifetime prevalence rate of major depressive disorder is 17% (Sadock & Sadock, 2007). Studies have found that a significantly higher percentage of women than men aged 20-55 years report difficulty maintaining sleep (Soares, 2005).


This scholarly project involved the implementation and evaluation of a relaxation training and sleep hygiene education intervention for female patients who experience major depressive disorder and insomnia.

Theoretical Model:

Middle-range theory of unpleasant symptoms (Lenz, Pugh, Milligan, Gift, & Suppe, 1997).


A convenience sample of 10 female participants was recruited from an outpatient psychiatric private practice.


Participants attended 4 consecutive, weekly outpatient sessions lasting approximately 1 hr. The initial session consisted of conducting a psychiatric evaluation and administration of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index to measure rating of sleep quantity and quality. Principles of sleep hygiene and relaxation exercises were introduced during the initial session. Subsequent sessions focused on reinforcement of the principles of sleep hygiene and relaxation training.


Sleep hygiene education and relaxation training were effective in treating insomnia of depressed patients.

Implications for Nursing:

Implementation of sleep hygiene education and relaxation training provides nurses with evidence-based treatment alternatives or complements to pharmacotherapy in depressed patients.

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