The Effect of Infra-Slow Fluctuation Neurofeedback Training on a Cohort of Insomnia Participants

  • Melissa Bekker University of Pretoria
  • Karlien Balt
  • Priyesh Bipath
  • Joyce Jordaan
  • Peet du Toit
Keywords: Insomnia, ISF, Neurofeedback, QEEG, CNS Vital Signs, ANS vitals


Neurofeedback has gained great interest as a noninvasive treatment for various disorders. However, there is still a lack in literature regarding the effects of infra-slow fluctuation (ISF) neurofeedback training. ISF neurofeedback training is aimed at the lowest brainwave oscillations and attempts to balance dysregulated brainwave activity by inducing shifts in the parasympathetic and sympathetic response. The aim of this study was to determine whether ISF neurofeedback training has a significant effect in participants with insomnia by using quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG), Central Nervous System Vital Signs (CNS VS), and by measuring the changes of physiological vitals. The intervention consisted of 10 sessions for 40 participants separated equally into two groups. Significant results were achieved with improved core temperature (p = .002), finger temperature (p < .001), lower heart rate (p = .002), systolic (p = .003) and diastolic blood pressure (p = .001). The qEEG components significantly improved within standard ranges. An improved neurocognitive state was achieved in terms of CNS VS, with a decrease in depression (p = .003), anxiety (p < .001), and stress (p < .001). This study demonstrated that ISF neurofeedback training should be considered as a viable alternative that can be used concurrently with other insomnia treatment methods.


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