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Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry (Discontinued)


ISSN (Print): 1871-5222
ISSN (Online): 1875-6115

Research Article

Electric Field Exposure Improves Subjective Symptoms Related to Sleeplessness in College Students: A Pilot Study of Electric Field Therapy for Sleep Disorder

Author(s): Takashi Ohtsuki, Tomoyuki Nabeta, Hiromoto Nakanishi, Hirohisa Kawahata, Toshio Ogihara, Ryuichi Morishita and Motokuni Aoki*

Volume 17, Issue 1, 2017

Page: [37 - 48] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1871522217666170815163329

open access plus


Background: Sleep disorder is a common health problem in modern days. Establishment of safe, non-invasive, convenient and effective treatment is anticipated in the field of complementary and alternative medicine.

Objective: We designed a protocol for a randomized controlled trial to investigate the effect of Electric Field (EF) exposure on sleep disorder.

Methods: Nineteen college students with sleep disorder, defined as a score of 8 or higher on the Pitzburg Sleep Quality Index, were divided into two groups; EF intervention and sham treatment. EF exposure (50-Hz, 18 kV) was performed for 30 minutes a day for five consecutive days. Subjective parameters were obtained by an OSA sleep inventory MA version consisting of five factors, and objective parameters were measured using a sleep-scan.

Results: Significant improvement in scores of three factors (sleepiness on rising, refreshing and sleep length) was observed after 5 days of EF exposure intervention, as compared to both before intervention and after 5 days of sham treatment. Moreover, improvement ratios for these three factors were significantly higher in the EF group than in the sham treatment group. Analysis of the sleep-scan demonstrated a high improvement ratio for duration of nocturnal awakening in the EF group.

Conclusion: The beneficial effect of electric field therapy on sleep disorder in college students is considered to be beyond a placebo effect. This study raises the therapeutic possibility of electric field exposure.

Keywords: Complementary and alternative medicine, electric field therapy, nocturnal awakening, OSA sleep inventory MA version, PSQI (Pitzburg Sleep Quality Index), sleep disorder, sleep-scan.

Graphical Abstract

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