Effects of singing bowl exposure on Karolinska sleepiness scale and pupillographic sleepiness test: A randomised crossover study
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Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects on subjective and objective sleepiness of a stay above a large struck singing bowl compared to a relaxation period in a silent singing bowl.
Methods: Fifty-eight healthy subjects were recruited for the study, 48 participated on two days, one week apart, during the same timeslot. The Karolinska sleepiness scale was used to evaluate current subjective sleepiness, and the relative pupillary unrest index to assess objective sleepiness. In this randomized cross-over study, the intervention consisted of a 20-minute stay in a hammock while the singing bowl, positioned beneath, was struck seven times. The controlled comparator was a 20-minute stay in the same hammock above the singing bowl, but without being struck. After these two interventions subjective and objective sleepiness were re-evaluated.
Results: The mean relative pupillary unrest index values after relaxation in the struck and silent singing bowl groups were 0.74 and respectively 0.71 (p = 0.460). The median Karolinska sleepiness scale value after relaxation with the struck singing bowl was 3 compared with 4 (p = 0.041) for the silent singing bowl.
Discussion: This study evaluated the influence of a struck singing bowl on sleepiness during daytime. Subjective sleepiness was significantly lower after relaxation above a struck singing bowl. After gender stratification, the difference was still significant in women. Objective sleepiness was not different in both groups. Finally, we can only speculate if women may be more susceptible to subjective improvements in case of sleepiness and show another perception of relaxation in a struck singing bowl compared to men.