The Effects of an Intensive Lifestyle Modification Program on Sleep and Stress Disorders

.

Merrill RM, Aldana SG, Greenlaw RL, Diehl HA, Salberg A.

College of Health and Human Performance, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-2214, Italy. Ray_Merrill@byu.edu

BACKGROUND:

To determine if a lifestyle change program can modify behavior to reduce sleep and stress disorders.

METHODS:

Analyses are based on 2,624 individuals aged 30 to 80 years from the Rockford, Illinois metropolitan area who completed a lifestyle evaluation at baseline and again after four weeks, following participation in a 40-hour educational course given over a four-week period. Participants receive instruction on the importance of making better lifestyle choices related to making long-term improvements in nutrition and physical activity and they learn ways to improve sleep and reduce stress in their lives.

RESULTS:

Significant percent decreases were observed in the number experiencing selected sleep or stress disorders from baseline to four weeks later for "sleeps restlessly" (-59%), "suffers from insomnia" (-64%), "feels under pressure" (-37%), "easily emotionally upset" (-52%), and "feels fearful or depressed" (-61%). Experiencing a selected sleep or stress disorder after four weeks among those who had the disorder at baseline was significantly more likely in those not physically active and/or not having lowered their BMI after four weeks. Changes in alcohol consumption and smoking did not significantly contribute to changes in the disorders. Those who failed to lower their coffee/tea use after four weeks were significantly more likely to have a sleep disorder and be easily emotionally upset.

CONCLUSIONS:

Changes in lifestyle behaviors after attending an educational program significantly reduced sleep and stress disorders in as little as four weeks, primarily explained by decreasing BMI and/or increasing exercise.

PMID: 17508101 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 


Last Updated: April 9, 2008