V. Study of AudioMagic Sleep Programs on a locked psychiatric unit

Studied: AudioMagic Natural Sleep program on a locked psychiatric unit
Conducted by: Thomas Jackson, MD

Hospitalized psychiatric patients frequently experience significant sleep problems associated with both their illness and the stress of sleeping in an unfamiliar environment and are often prescribed sleeping pills on an as-needed (PRN) basis. A study to evaluate the effectiveness of the AudioMagic Natural Sleep program to replace the use of sleeping pills was initiated at the Therapeutic Residential Center, in Downey California—a 39 bed, locked, psychiatric facility. Primary diagnoses were schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.

Staff psychiatrists continued to prescribe sedative-hypnotics, as usual, during the entire study. After an initial baseline period of 18 days the AudioMagic Natural Sleep program, along with bedside players, was made available to all patients. When patients wanted, or were instructed, to go to sleep they were required to listen to the Natural Sleep program before they could request sleep medication, which would then be dispensed at the nursing station. The study period lasted ten weeks (70 days) during which time there were 130 patients admitted and 136 discharged (24/30 during the baseline period).

During the baseline period an average of 7.61 (+/- 1.46) sleeping pills were dispensed per night. The total number of patients during the baseline was 64 (greater than the capacity of 39 patients because of admissions and discharges). During the first two weeks of Natural Sleep program usage the rate of sleeping pill consumption dropped to an average of 1.21 (+/- 1.01) per night, representing an 84% decrease. This “transition period” represented a span of time when patients were being weaned from their customary use of sleep medications. During the remainder of the study, sleeping pill usage averaged .15 per night (+/- .41; a total of 8 sleeping pills consumed over 54 days; total number of patients = 145) representing a 98% decrease in sleeping pill usage in spite of the large number of discharges and admissions. One way ANOVA indicated high significance with a p value of <.0001. No compensating increase in other potentially sedative medications was noted or any change in the percentage of diagnostic categories of admitted and discharged patients.

Patients reported that the Natural Sleep program was effective for both sleep onset and sleep maintenance. It was believed that compliance was high due to the desire of many patients to take an active part in their own treatment and the pleasantness of the Sleep program experience. Staff reported additional patient benefits including decreased morning drowsiness and improved mood.
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