Operational Study to Evaluate Music-Based Neurotraining at Improving Sleep Quality, Mood, and Daytime Function in a First Responder Population

Donald R. DuRousseau1, Galina Mindlin2, Joseph Insler3, Iakov I. Levin4

1PEAK Neurotraining Solutions, Inc., Sterling, Virginia, USA
2St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, New York, New York, USA
3Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
4Sleep Disorders Centre, I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Moscow, Russia

The objective of this study was to determine if a music-based intervention could be success- fully used by a group of law enforcement officers and firefighters to improve measures of sleep quality, mood, and daytime function. The Wellness Program Study included 41 male and female first responders who volunteered to participate in the 8-week study investigating the use of a music-based neurofeedback therapy known as Brain Music (BM). Creating the individualized BM recordings required 5 min of brain wave activity from 4 sensors located at F3, F4, C3 and C4 sites. The music consisted of two MP3 files, one for activating and the other for relaxing, where the ratios of peak frequencies in the delta (1–4 Hz) through beta (up to 30 Hz) EEG bands were used to select the notes used and their characteristics (e.g., duration, pitch, amplitude, and symmetry) as a means to individualize the compositions for each subject. Results of the study indicated statistically significant improvements in 4 behavioral measures: sleep quality (94%), insomnia (89%), mood (74%), and daytime func- tion (82%). These results extend earlier insomnia research of music therapy applications from the clinic into an operational setting and lay the groundwork to address many questions concerning neurofeedback interventions targeting stress management and improved job performance. The implication of this study goes beyond the utility of BM in the first responder setting to a broader audience because many persons suffer from sleep problems that negatively impact daytime function and work performance.

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