Printer Friendly

Zapped insomniacs catch some Z's.

An experimental device that emits a low-energy electromagnetic field beats counting sheep as a sleep aid, according to researchers who tested the novel technique in a double-blind study.

The month-long study, led by Milton K. Erman of the Scripps Clinics and Research Foundation in La Jolla, Calif., involved 60 insomniacs who held the device in their mouths for 20 minutes three times a week. Half the volunteers used the 27-megahertz instrument, while the remainder used inactivated devices. Neither group felt any sensations during these sessions, says study coauthor Boris Pasche of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

On average, he reports, insomniacs using the active device nodded off 52 minutes faster than the controls and stayed asleep 1.5 hours longer.

Pasche speculates that the device stimulates sleep-inducing areas of the brain. He and his colleagues are now investigating its effect on melatonin, a hormone secreted by the brain's pineal gland in sync with the sleep-wake cycle.

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report issued last year concluded that weak, but steady electromagnetic fields constitute "a possible but no proven cause of cancer in humans." Because the device tested by Erman's group does not emit a steady magnetic field, Pasche says he and his colleagues were not concerned about adverse effects.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:testing a device that uses low-energy electromagnetic fields to treat insomnia
Author:Ezzell, Carol
Publication:Science News
Date:Jul 6, 1991
Previous Article:Profiling popcorn's perfume.
Next Article:Electromagnetic commute.

Related Articles
Hormone helps elderly sleep.
Magnetic fields can diminish drug action.
EMFs' biological influences.
Stress and sleepless nights.
Insomnia in HIV and its management: one clinician's perspective.
Insomnia: Therapeutic Approach.
NIST performs electromagnetic shielding effectiveness tests on a commercial aircraft. (News Briefs).
Staring into the dark: research investigates insomnia drugs.
The sleep cure: what to do when zzzs are but a dream.
Pharmacologic management of chronic insomnia.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters