Document Type

Theses, Masters


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Publication Details

Thesis submitted to the Technological University Dublin as a requirement for the award of Masters in Philosophy (MPhil), October 2015.


Introduction Sleep Deprived Electroencephalogram’s (EEG’s) are usually carried out routinely in dedicated children’s Hospitals as they have been shown to increase the yield of the study. However, despite sleep deprivation being successfully carried out prior to the EEG the patient may fail to fall asleep. Various techniques have been developed to enhance sleep, such as the use of “white or background noise”. This study examined the use of background noise during the sleep portion of the EEG in comparison with a control group. Methodology This was a randomised control trial with two interventions (two different types of background noise) and a control group (no noise). There were 202 patients enrolled in the study over a two year period and randomly allocated to each group. They were given forty minutes for the sleep portion of the test and if still awake after forty minutes, this was noted as a “fail to sleep”. The study was performed in the Neurosciences centre, Our Lady’s children’s hospital. Literature Review The literature review was carried out after the study commenced which highlighted that as well as the use of white noise during sleep, the use of music as another technique was also frequently used to enhance sleep. Also emphasized were the various confounding factors that were present in this type of study and therefore this thesis attempted to address these issues and endeavoured to control for these influences so as not to affect the results. Results Initial results examining the three groups in terms of the data distribution showed that there was little difference in relation to whether the participants fell asleep or not or the time taken to fall asleep. This was also the case when further statistical analysis was performed. However a trend was noted between group B (CD noise) and C (No noise) which was statistically significant at p=.037. Further data was obtained regarding sleep showing that 91% of the participants fell asleep regardless of the allocated group. It was also noted that 15% of patients only had abnormalities in sleep. Conclusions In relation to the data on arousals, this information should be interpreted with caution as correlating peak noise was not measured, in order to determine if the noise was the cause of the arousal or not. There were also little differences between the groups on the other outcomes measured however there may be small differences between the CD noise and the control group as somewhat more participants fell asleep when using the CD noise. Further studies need to validate these results, particularly across various departments under strict controlled settings in order to eliminate the confounding factors outlined in this thesis.


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