Effects of low energy emission therapy in chronic psychophysiological insomnia.

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Sleep. 1996 May;19(4):327-36.

Abstract

The treatment of chronic psychophysiological insomnia presents a challenge that has not been met using currently available pharmacotherapy. Low energy emission therapy (LEET) has been developed as a potential alternative therapy for this disorder. LEET consists of amplitude-modulated electromagnetic fields delivered intrabuccally by means of an electrically conducting mouthpiece in direct contact with the oral mucosa. The effect of LEET on chronic psychophysiological insomnia was assessed with polysomnography (PSG) and sleep rating forms on a total of 106 patients at two different centers. Active or inactive LEET was administered for 20 minutes in late afternoon three times a week for a total of 12 treatments. Primary efficacy endpoints evaluating the results were changes from baseline in PSG-assessed total sleep time (TST) and sleep latency (SL). Secondary endpoints were changes in sleep efficiency (SE), sleep stages, and reports by the subjects of SL and TST. There was a significant increase in TST as assessed by PSG between baseline and post-treatment values for the active treatment group (76.0 +/- 11.1 minutes, p = 0.0001). The increase for the inactive treatment group was not statistically significant. The TST improvement was significantly greater for the active group when compared to the inactive group (adjusted for baseline TST; p = 0.020. R1 = 0.20). There was a significant decrease in SL as assessed by PSG between baseline and post-treatment values for the active treatment group (-21.6 +/- 5.9 minutes, p = 0.0006), whereas the decrease noted for the inactive treatment group was not statistically significant. The difference in SL decrease between the two treatment groups was marginally significant (adjusted for baseline SL and center, p = 0.068, R2 = 0.60). The number of sleep cycles per night increased by 30% after active treatment (p = 0.0001) but was unchanged following inactive treatment. Subjects did not experience rebound insomnia, and there were no significant side effects. The data presented in this report indicate that LEET administered for 20 minutes three times a week increased TST and reduced SL in chronic psychophysiological insomnia. LEET is safe and well tolerated and it effectively improved the sleep of chronic insomniacs given 12 treatments over a 4-week period by increasing the number of sleep cycles without altering the percentage of the various sleep stages during the night. The therapeutic action of LEET differs from that of currently available drug therapies in that the sleep pattern noted in insomniacs following LEET treatment more closely resembles nocturnal physiological sleep. This novel treatment may offer an attractive alternative therapy for chronic insomnia.