Insomnia is a sleeping disorder, usually studied from a behavioural perspective, with a focus on somatic and cognitive arousal. Recent studies have suggested that an impairment of information processes due to the presence of cortical hyperarousal might interfere with normal sleep onset and/or consolidation. As such, a treatment modality focussing on CNS arousal, and thus influencing information processing, might be of interest. Seventien insomnia patients were randomly assigned to either a tele-neurofeedback (n = 9) or an electromyography tele-biofeedback (n = 8) protocol. Twelve healthy controls were used to compare baseline sleep measures. A polysomnography was performed pre and post treatment. Total Sleep Time (TST), was considered as our primary outcome variable. Sleep latency decreased pre to post treatment in both groups, but a significant improvement in TST was found only after the neurofeedback (NFB) protocol. Furthermore, sleep logs at home showed an overall improvement only in the neurofeedback group, whereas the sleep logs in the lab remained the same pre to post training. Only NFB training resulted in an increase in TST. The mixed results concerning perception of sleep might be related to methodological issues, such as the different locations of the training and sleep measurements.
Cortoos A, De Valck E, Arns M, Breteler MH, Cluydts R. An exploratory study on the effects of tele-neurofeedback and tele-biofeedback on objective and subjective sleep in patients with primary insomnia. Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2010 Jun;35(2):125-34. doi: 10.1007/s10484-009-9116-z. PMID: 19826944.