Coping Mechanisms Make a Difference

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Although the number and types of stressors individuals experiencecan play a role in the initiation of insomnia, the way individuals copewith those stressors can alter its duration. A recent article reported inPsychosomatic Medicine (January-February 2006) describes theresults of a study on coping styles and the maintenance of insomnia.Individuals encounter 2 types of stressors—those they can control andthose they cannot control. The well-adjusted coping style for stressorsthat can be controlled is monitoring, which involves seeking information.The well-adjusted coping style for stressors that cannot be controlledis blunting, which involves distracting oneself from the stressor.

In this study, a significantly greater proportion of the patients withinsomnia exhibited a monitoring coping style, whereas significantlymore of the good sleepers exhibited a blunting coping style.Surprisingly, the poor sleepers often practiced better sleep hygiene,compared with good sleepers.