III. Study of AudioMagic Natural Sleep conducted at the UCI Medical Center’s Sleep Disorders Clinic

Studied: AudioMagic Natural Sleep program
Conducted by: Jon Sassin, MD, Chairman, Department of Neurology, UCI Orange County Medical Center

The following study was conducted at the UCI Medical Center’s Sleep Disorders Clinic in 1983. It should be noted that the study was never completed and the following data was from an interim report with only 15 subjects, and, although quite interesting, should be considered in this context.

The patients in the study had been referred to the Sleep Disorders Clinic by their primary care physicians because of the severity of their sleep problems. Patients reported suffering from insomnia for an average 14 years, had been taking sleeping pills an average of 6 years and reported an average of approximately 70 minutes to fall asleep (even with use of prescription sleep medications).

Patients were initially evaluated, at which time general information was collected and psychological testing was performed using the Profile of Mood States (POMS). The AudioMagic Natural Sleep program was then provided to the patients to assist them in the process of withdrawing from sleep medications. They were then asked to listen to the program while falling asleep at home as they gradually withdrew from their sleep medications over a two-week period. At the end of this withdrawal period they returned to the Sleep Clinic where they were evaluated to determine if they were still using any medication, psychological testing was repeated, and overnight electroencephalograph sleep lab studies (polysomnographs) were performed for two consecutive nights to determine the quality and quantity of their sleep.

The first night patients were tested without using the Natural Sleep program and the second night testing was done while using the program. This protocol was used in order to test the hypothesis that there would be a residual effect from listening to the program the previous two weeks because patients could learn the sleep inducing techniques, at least to some degree. (Previous clinical work had revealed that many patients “internalized” or learned the sleep inducing techniques after several weeks and afterwards could use the programs only as a “refresher” or on especially difficult nights.)

Although the number of patients was limited, the results were fairly dramatic. The average time to fall asleep decreased from a reported 70 minutes, with the use of sleep medications, to a measured time of 17 minutes after withdrawal from medications. Patients were asked to rate the effectiveness of the Natural Sleep program on a scale of 1-10 on how effective it was at putting them to sleep and the average score was 8, indicating very high patient satisfaction. A number of other elements were evaluated on the all-night polysomnograps, in addition to how long it took patients to fall asleep. However, a direct comparison could not be made between recordings of patient’s condition while dependent on sleeping pill sand after withdrawal because sleep medications distort brain waves, making reading unreliable.

We can, however, compare the two all-night recordings after two weeks use of the Natural Sleep program and drug withdrawal.  The first night’s recording can be considered the “internalized” or learned condition (after two weeks of program use) because the program was not listened to that night, while the second night’s polysomnograph recording can be considered “internalized” plus reinforced condition, because the program was listened to that night. Comparing these two nights, we can make several observations. During the second night, the amount of time awake after first falling asleep decreased as did the number of nighttime awakenings. Total time asleep increased, percentage of time asleep increased, and the percentage of REM sleep (dreaming) increased. The only measure that did not seem to improve between the two nights was the average time to fall asleep, which increased from 12 to 17 minutes. Although these averages are both within the normal range, the increase is the result of just one patient taking significantly longer to fall asleep on the second night. It should be noted, however, that this patients rated the Natural Sleep program as a 10 on a scale of 1-10 and claimed that he could not have “kicked the drugs” without it. When this aberration is removed, all patients improved in this category as well.

The psychological data taken from the Profile of Mood States (POMS) was also quite revealing. It indicated notable improvement in the Depression/Dejection and Anger/Hostility scales with somewhat less improvement on the Tension/Anxiety and Confusion/Bewilderment scales after only two weeks use of the Natural Sleep program. A control group of patients, not using the program, showed no change in any POMS scale. The average change on the Depression/Dejection scale for those using the programs was 17 points while a change of only 4 points is considered to be clinically significant improvement.

The AudioMagic Natural Sleep program has demonstrated great promise in the treatment of some of the most difficult cases of insomnia and, as the Profile of Mood States testing suggests, may also offer treatment for the large number of patients suffering from mood disorders.
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