Can we modify maladaptive attributions for fatigue?
ABSTRACT Research has shown that those with insomnia focus primarily on their sleep as a cause of daytime fatigue rather than the multitude of other possible causes of fatigue. This can create sleep-related anxiety and further perpetuate the sleep disturbance. In order to lessen the increased focus on sleep, the present study investigated whether people could learn to consider other attributions for fatigue via an information-based manipulation. Undergraduate students (N = 88) were randomized to two information groups: They either received information about common factors that could explain daytime fatigue (the fatigue information condition) or received generic sleep-related information (the control condition). Each group was tested pre- and post-intervention. Fatigue information participants were significantly more likely to consider non-sleep-related attributions for fatigue at post-intervention, relative to control participants. These results demonstrate that attributions for fatigue may be amenable to change via an information-based intervention; thus, this research explores a preliminary step toward investigating refinements to insomnia treatments.