Music therapy in the alleviation of the first night effect
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The first night effect (FNE) has been described as a phenomenon that affects sleep quality as measured by objective parameters by polysomnography (PSG) tests that show decreased sleep efficiency, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, total sleep time and increased sleep latencies and REM latencies. Music therapy has been an effective tool in treating anxiety in a number of patient populations as well as helping patients improve sleep quality when measured by questionnaires administered pre and post intervention. It is hypothesized that music therapy may help alleviate the FNE by improving sleep quality and the current study investigates this music intervention by observing objective parameters through PSG. A total of ninety-eight subjects completed the study of determining effectiveness of intervention in a recently constructed sleep laboratory at Boston Medical Center. Results have shown that there are no significant improvements in the sleep parameters investigated: sleep latency, sleep efficient, non-REM sleep, REM sleep, REM latency, time spent awake after initial sleep onset, arousal index, and total sleep time in the total population examined. Men and subjects that did not receive night-time respiratory treatments showed longer REM latencies when an intervention was involved. At this time, there is no reason to suggest that music therapy can help improve sleep quality on the first night in sleep laboratories when sleep quality is assessed using objective parameters. Further studies investigating anxiety levels and looking at particular patient populations on the first night pre and post music intervention may help determine the true efficacy of music intervention in helping lessen the FNE.