Impulse magnetic-field therapy for insomnia: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Abstract

This 4-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessed the efficacy of impulse magnetic-field therapy for insomnia. One hundred one patients were randomly assigned to either active treatment (n = 50) or placebo (n = 51) and allocated to one of three diagnostic groups: (1) sleep latency; (2) interrupted sleep; or (3) nightmares. Efficacy endpoints were intensity of sleep latency, frequency of interruptions, sleepiness after rising, daytime sleepiness, difficulty with concentration, and daytime headaches. In the active-treatment group, the values of all criteria were significantly lower at study end (P < .00001). The placebo group also showed significant symptomatic improvement (P < .05), but the differences between groups were highly significant (P < .00001). Seventy percent (n = 34) of the patients given active treatment experienced substantial or even complete relief of their complaints; 24% (n = 12) reported clear improvement; 6% (n = 3) noted a slight improvement. Only one placebo patient (2%) had very clear relief; 49% (n = 23) reported slight or clear improvement; and 49% (n = 23) saw no change in their symptoms. No adverse effects of treatment were reported.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    Borbely A. Das Geheimnis des Schlafs. Neue Wege und Erkenntnisse der Forschung. Dva Stuttgart. 1984;94–130.

  2. 2.

    Mendelson W.The Use and Misuse of Sleeping Pills. New York, NY: Plenum Press; 1988.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Schwartz A.Schlaflosigkeit überwinden. Munich, Germany: Ehrenwirt; 1983.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Wheatley D, ed.Psychopharmacology of Sleep. New York, NY: Raven Press; 1981.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Akimov G et al. Effects of alternating field on healing of ulcers of the lower extremities.Vestn Chir. 1977;119:84–85.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Barnothy M.Biological Effects of Magnetic Fields. New York, NY: Plenum Press; 1969.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Basset C et al. Nonoperative treatment of pseudoarthroses and nonunions by pulsing electromagnetic fields.Orthop Trans J Bone Joint Surg. 1978;2:218.

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Bergsmann O. Selektive Feldtherapie bei pseudoradikulären Symptomen. In:Manuelle Medizin, XXI. Vienna, Austria; 1983.

  9. 9.

    Cameron H et al. An examination of the effects of pulsed magnetic fields on knee swelling following total knee replacement. Presented at the International Congress on Foot and Hand Surgery; 1981; São Paulo, Brazil.

  10. 10.

    Ehrmann W et al. Therapie mit ELF-Magnetfeldern.Z Phys Med. 1976;4:161–170.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Evertz U, König H. Pulsierende magnetische Felder in ihrer Bedeutung für die Medizin.Hippokrates. 1977;1:16.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Vallbona C, Richards T. Evolution of magnetic therapy from alternative to traditional medicine.Compr Ther Phys Med Rehabil. 1999;10/3:729–754.

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Sandyk R. Resolution of sleep paralysis by weak electromagnetic fields in a patient with multiple sclerosis.Int J Neurosci. 1997;90:145–158.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Sandyk R, Anninos PA. Magnetic fields alter the circadian periodicity of seizures.Int J Neurosci. 1992;63:265–274.

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Sandyk R, Derpapas K. The effects of external picotesla range magnetic fields on the EEG in Parkinson’s disease.Int J Neurosci. 1993;70:85–96.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Lebet JP, Barbault A, Rossel C, et al. Electroencephalographic changes following low energy emission therapy.Ann Biomed Eng. 1996;24:424–429.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Reite M, Higgs L, Lebet J-P, et al. Sleep inducing effect of low energy emission therapy.Bioelectromagnetics. 1994;15:67–75.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Borbely A. Endogenous sleep substances and sleep regulation.J Neural Transm Suppl. 1986; 21:243–254.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Hainovici N, Negoesen. Beeinflussung der Kallusbildung unter der Behandlung mit niederfrequenten gepulsten Magnetfeldern.Therapiewoche. 1987;30:4619–4631.

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Hauri P.The Sleep Disorders: Current Concepts. Kalamazoo, Mich: Upjohn Company; 1982.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Klettman N.Sleep and Wakefulness. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press; 1963.

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Langen D. Sprechstunde: Schlafstörungen. GU München. 1982.

  23. 23.

    Pelka RB, de Moliere M. Migräne, Wetterfühligkeit und Spannungskopfschmerz: Essentielle Linderung durch Magnetwechselfelder? Notabene Medici; 1989.

  24. 24.

    Gaillard J. Brain noradrenergic activity in wakefulness and paradoxical sleep: the effect of clonidine.Neuropsychobiology. 1985;13:23–25.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Watson J, Downes E. Clinical aspects of the stimulation of bone healing using electrical phaenomena.Med Biol Eng Comput. 1979;17:261.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rainer B. Pelka Ph.D..

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pelka, R.B., Jaenicke, C. & Gruenwald, J. Impulse magnetic-field therapy for insomnia: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Adv Therapy 18, 174–180 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02850111

Download citation

Keywords

  • insomnia
  • magnetic waves
  • alternative therapy
  • impulse magnetic-field therapy