Insomnia is considered among the most prevalent health conditions in western communities. Treatment regularly consists of pharmacology and/or psychotherapy. However, pharmacological treatments bear a high risk of development of tolerance and addiction, whereas the availability of specifically qualified psychotherapists to treat insomnia is scarce. Innovative treatments have the capability to fill this supply gap. One of these new methods is called auditory stimulation and uses external stimuli that travel through existing sensory networks to influence sleep. This stimulation method has so far been mainly used to assess overnight memory consolidation in healthy participants in which slow oscillations, neuronal events occurring prominently in deep sleep, were enhanced successfully. Initial findings and secondary outcome parameters indicate that the potentiation of slow oscillations can deepen sleep, however there are currently no studies assessing efficacy in patients with insomnia. Further research is recommended.
Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012
- 501 Psychology
- Sleep initiation and maintenance disorders
- Acoustic stimulation
- Memory consolidation
- Sleep, slow-wave