At the 21st annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, researchers from the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil reported that a technique called imagery rehearsal therapy may help chronic insomniacs get a good night's sleep as well as lessen the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The researchers studied 24 chronic insomnia sufferers. They all atended a 2-hour meeting over a 5-week period during which they received standard education on sleep hygiene and stimulus control, and knowledge about beliefs and attitudes that are not conducive to good sleep.

Twelve of the study participants were also taught how to practice imagery therapy. They were given audio CDs to listen to right before bed. The CDs thought them how to breath, relax and guided them through imagery that helps them get rid of their worries and imagine drifting off to sleep.

Worries, anxiety and depression disturb a lot of sleeping in a lot of people. The study participants were taught how to discover the emotions behind the worries and release their worries before going to bed.

Those insomniacs who practiced nightly imagery rehearsal therapy saw an improvement in both sleep quantity and quality. Their total sleep time increased 30 minutes. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were also seen with imagery therapy.

For the time being, the guided imagery sleep audio CD research purposes only but there are plans to market it.