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The impact of a progressive muscular relaxation exercise programme for reducing insomnia in an elderly population: results from a preliminary study at two elderly homes in the Colombo District of Sri Lanka

Authors:

W. Jayarathne ,

Allied Health Sciences Unit, University of Colombo, Colombo, LK
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Piyanjali de Zoysa

Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Late life insomnia is associated with various physical and psychological conditions, which warrants particular attention. This study aimed at exploring the impact of a programme of relaxation and deep breathing exercises in reducing insomnia in a population of older persons. A group controlled experimental study design was used with a sample of 98 (84 females) older persons, aged over 65 years, in two elders’ homes. The intervention consisted of progressive muscular relaxation exercises and deep breathing exercises conducted over a 12 week period. Pre- and post-intervention data was collected by the Sinhala version of the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS). Independent sample t-tests and Paired sample t-tests were performed. Results revealed a significant reduction in insomnia after the intervention in the experimental group, but not in the control group. Hence, this study indicates that relaxation exercises significantly reduce insomnia and increase the quality of sleep among older persons. The fact that such a cost effective and easy to implement programme was effective in the treatment of insomnia is an encouraging outcome of this study. Such programmes are useful in countries such as Sri Lanka where monetary and trained human resources are scarce.
How to Cite: Jayarathne, W. & de Zoysa, P., (2016). The impact of a progressive muscular relaxation exercise programme for reducing insomnia in an elderly population: results from a preliminary study at two elderly homes in the Colombo District of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences. 39(1), pp.47–52. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljss.v39i1.7402
Published on 22 Aug 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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