Research Shows Senior Insomnia Is Treatable With EFT

Written by: Nick Ortner

Millions suffer from insomnia, especially in the senior population. Is there a remedy better than meds? This research study provides hope.

Michael Jackson. Margaret Thatcher. Joan Didion. Jimi Hendrix. Arianna Huffington. Roxanne Gay. Erica Jong. George Clooney. Joni Mitchell. Maya Angelou. All struggled with insomnia at some point in their lives.

Not motivated to make lifestyle changes

Of course, it’s not just celebrities. Many people struggle with insomnia, including new parents, workers on the third shift, and people who have moved to a new time zone.

But insomnia in seniors is even more common, and more serious because of the effect it has on their already vulnerable bodies.

The researchers in this study reported that 50% of adults over 60 complain of problems with sleep. Aging people often deal with physical illnesses, depression, anxiety, general physical weakening, and side effects of medications for other illnesses.

This research team wanted understanding around non-pharmacological treatments. They were also looking for an effective treatment that’s cost-effective and easy to learn for those with cognitive limitations.

At the time of this study, there was already a “gold standard” non-pharmacological treatment for insomnia called Sleep Hygiene Education (SHE). The researchers knew of the effectiveness of EFT in many causes of insomnia, like anxiety and depression, and so wanted to test it against the standard SHE treatment.

Tapping Customized for Seniors

Researchers first looked at the “Basic Recipe” of the Tapping protocol in order to see if it was something seniors could easily be taught, and then integrated into their daily lives.

The Basic Recipe for EFT is a series of setup and reminder phrases that combine the patient’s experience of a difficult issue with an affirmation. Practitioners then ask patients to speak the phrases while the practitioner taps on their acupressure points. Of course, Tapping can also be self-administered, as we demonstrate through all of Tapping Solution Programs.

In this study, however, researchers took the basic structure of an EFT treatment and adapted it for seniors by “…standardizing the setup phrases and reminder phrases so that even those with limited cognitive abilities can use the Basic Recipe.” They called this variation “EFT-1.”

Several years prior, these same researchers had conducted a pilot study that concluded that EFT-1 helped seniors with insomnia, depression, anxiety, and life satisfaction. They wanted to do another study this time as a randomized controlled trial, where the seniors learned EFT-1 in a group to make it more affordable in hard economic times.

Getting to Dream: The Study

After receiving approval from the University Oriental Medical Hospital in Seoul, 20 subjects were recruited who had all been diagnosed with insomnia by a doctor, scored high on a questionnaire indicating clinical insomnia, and were over the age of 60, the average age being 77.

elderly woman lying awake in bed with book attempting to fall asleep

The participants were divided into two groups: EFT-1 and SHE (Sleep Hygiene Education). Each group worked with a different therapist and received eight sessions of treatment over two weeks.

The “lesson plans” in both groups were similar but the first group learned about Tapping and the other SHE.

Before and after treatment, each group filled out questionnaires for insomnia, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. Then researchers followed up with each group five weeks after treatment. Then, they followed up again nine months after, with questionnaires each time.

Waking Up: The Results

Researchers found that participants in the EFT-1 group slept significantly better than the “gold standard” SHE group.

The EFT-1 group also fared better in relation to depression, but neither made reported progress with their anxiety or life satisfaction. In my opinion, this stemmed from other issues involved but not specifically addressed. The study had a specific focus and could not cover all underlying issues.

Researchers found that participants in the EFT-1 group slept significantly better than the “gold standard” SHE group.

The adjustments to the standard EFT treatment improved accessibility to seniors with cognitive issues.

In spite of the small group and using a single setting with a population from the same basic demographic, these researchers were confident that the study results indicate that EFT-1 is an effective treatment for senior insomnia.

Old, Young, and Everyone In-between

Even though this study focused on seniors, there’s no reason to think that others with insomnia wouldn’t benefit from it.

EFT is ideal in so many situations because it’s inexpensive, easy to learn, and teach, can be practiced by patients & clients themselves, and has no harmful side effects.

For a condition that has eluded doctors and patients for ages, this information is exciting and could help many people live happier, healthier, and more well-rested days.

And that’s a dream we all deserve to have. ?

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Nick Ortner

Do you sometimes have trouble sleeping? What naturopathic remedies have you tried?

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12 Comments on this post

  1. Susan Leirer says:

    I have been struggling with insomnia since July 2019 and it feels like the switch that allows sleep to come, was flipped off. The medication isn’t working now and since I’m new to Tapping (my therapist Sings it’s praises) I’m asking if there is a guided Tapping to be used prior to bedtime as part of sleep hygiene.

  2. gulshen kutsal says:

    I would like to tell you about my experience. I have a hard condition .
    Last night started again. 3 in the morning . I didn’t want to go to the emergency.because every time I go.
    they do electric shock on me. I been going through 14 times I just didn’t want to go. I started to do tapping I didn’t even know what I was saying. I felt it beer I vent back to sleep 5am.and I got up I couldn’t believe That I didn’t have to go to the emergency .thank you so much.

  3. […] Shows Senior Insomnia Is Treatable With EFT (Tapping) Read this article by Nick Ortner from […]

  4. where is the seminar says:

    where is the seminar that I signed for on insomnia for today

  5. Erika says:


    Very interesting read thank-you. I’m 44 and have terrible insomnia due to ongoing medication I have to take.

    Can you please or do you have an EFT insomnia public video?

    Thanks very much.


  6. Onjoy says:

    So, is there a specific routine for this for seniors? If so, where is it? Thanks.

  7. Toni Keeling says:

    I am 72 and have been a lifelong light sleeper, occasionally insomniac till now. For a while in my late 20’s I learnt progressive relaxation with visualisation from a recommended physio and I slept like a lamb for a while. Later, even though I practiced the relaxation on my own, sleep difficulties returned.
    Since I learned tapping this year 2017, with the Tapping Solution and also tap frequently with Jessica on a specific audio to relieve insomnia I sleep very well and get to sleep quickly. Thank you Tapping Solution for all your programmes and blogs.

    • Nick Ortner says:

      Thank you Toni! I am so happy to hear tapping is helping you to sleep better. Thank you for your support! 🙂

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