Listed in Issue 175


EBBEN and COLLEAGUES,  Center for Sleep Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA. conducted a study to use a handheld biofeedback device (StressEraser) to improve sleep quality in the laboratory.


Difficulty sleeping is a common problem with laboratory polysomnograms. This affects both polysomnograms that are used as a clinical tool to investigate sleep pathology or as an outcome variable in research.


Ten subjects without a history of sleep disorders were randomly assigned to either a StressEraser or no-treatment control condition. A sleep disturbance scale derived from sleep efficiency, REM latency, minutes of stage 1 sleep, and wake after sleep onset was created to evaluate the differences between these groups.


Subjects in the StressEraser group had significantly lower scores on the sleep disturbance scale compared to the no-treatment control group (p = 0.003). Sleep latency was not improved. The StressEraser significantly improved sleep quality compared to a no-treatment control group.


This suggests that the StressEraser may be an effective tool to help reduce the first-night effect in nighttime laboratory sleep studies.


Ebben MR, Kurbatov V and Pollak CP. Moderating laboratory adaptation with the use of a heart-rate variability biofeedback device (StressEraser). Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback. 34(4): 245-9. Dec 2009.

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