University of Twente Student Theses


The effect of Neurofeedback on perceived sleep quality

DAM, J. (2016) The effect of Neurofeedback on perceived sleep quality.

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Abstract:Background: The presence of poor sleep-duration, poor sleep quality or insomnia symptoms, i.e. sleep deficiency, have shown substantial (negative) effects (on overall health). Sleep medication is the most common treatment, but the use of prolonged sleep medication can lead to illness and accidents. Therefore it is important to implement and evaluate non-pharmacological treatments, such as Neurofeedback. Objectives: The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of Bѐta and Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) neurofeedback on different sleep parameters and Health Related Quality of Life in Philips employees with perceived sleep difficulties. Methods: All participants (N=36 (5 dropped out)) used an innovative self-guided system with water-based electrodes integrated in an audio headset. All subjects performed the training at home (21 days out of 28). Two experimental conditions, i.e. the SMR condition and the Bѐta condition were compared to the Sham condition (control group). Whereas the SMR neurofeedback condition was specifically training to enhance the SMR, the Bèta neurofeedback condition to suppress Bèta, and the Sham condition received random feedback (not based on their live signal). Subjective and objective measures were applied. Results: Preliminary results showed no effect of the neurofeedback training on the primary outcome sleep onset latency. However a significant improvement over time was found. This was also found for the secondary outcome total sleep time. Two other secondary outcomes were significantly different. The Bèta group improved significantly regarding the PSQI-score in comparison to the sham condition and the SMR group improved significantly on the subjectively reported sleep quality in comparison to the sham condition. No effects were found on the objective sleep parameters, measured with the Actiwatch. Only the Health Related Quality of Life concepts ‘vitality’ and ‘general health’ improved over time. Significant difference were observed between groups in changes of vitality over time, however post hoc analysis didn’t show any significance. Discussion/conclusion: In some cases the treatment adherence was low, which may have contributed to the fact there are less effects detected. Also only half of the intended amount of participants were included, which lowers the power of the study. Furthermore, there were some problems with the Actiwatch data. Despite these facts, for now we must conclude that the neurofeedback was not effective. Though, the study must be continued to be able to make real conclusions. Recommendations: It is recommended to continue with the study (RCT), therefore it is important to execute the study the same as is done in the current study. Though it is recommended to use another objective sleep measurement, for example one with more functions (heart rate). Besides it might be good to extent the interview, so make a combination of quantitative and qualitative research (mixed methods). For future research the system need some improvements (make it compact, no cables, in-ear EEG), but also the intervention period need to be extended and the duration of the sessions must be reduced. Further recommendations can be made after the results of the whole study are known. First steps: • Choose another objective sleep measurement • Continue with the study • Analyse all data that is available (Consensus sleep diary, adherence, interview)
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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