CAN META-COGNITIVE OBSERVATION BE USED IN THE TREATMENT OF INSOMNIA? A PILOT STUDY OF A COGNITIVE-EMOTIONAL SELF-OBSERVATION TASK
Meta-cognitive observation is a kind of cognitive activity that may serve to interrupt worry, rumination, and other kinds of sleep-interfering cognitive processes. In a pilot study, 40 individuals recorded their sleep on a sleep diary during one week (the baseline week) and were then administered a meta-cognitive observation task to use at bed-time during a second week (“the treatment week”). Consistent with the hypothesis, the participants showed a decreased sleep latency during the treatment week compared to the baseline week, and also an increased total sleep time and an improved sleep efficiency. The lack of a control group (i.e., a group who kept a sleep diary for both weeks, without any meta-cognitive observation task), however, precludes any definite conclusion with regard to the effects of the meta-cognitive observation task. It is suggested that meta-cognitive observation tasks should be tested in controlled studies.
Key Words: Insomnia; worry; meta-cognition; cognitive-behaviour therapy.
c1 Reprint requests and requests for extended report to Lars-Gunnar Lundh, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. E-mail: Ilh@psychology.su.se