Improving Sleep with Infraslow (ISF) Neurofeedback
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects many people. It can lead to difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, resulting in daytime fatigue and other problems. There are various treatments for insomnia, including medication and therapy, but they may not work for everyone.
A recent study published in the journal NeuroRegulation explored the potential of infra-slow fluctuation neurofeedback (ISF-NF) as a treatment for insomnia. ISF-NF is a type of neurofeedback that targets very slow brainwave activity, specifically infra-slow fluctuations that occur less than 0.1 Hz. This type of neurofeedback is thought to have an impact on sleep regulation and has been used in previous studies for sleep disorders.
The study recruited 23 participants who were diagnosed with insomnia and randomly assigned them to either a treatment group or a control group. The treatment group received ISF-NF training for 12 sessions, while the control group received a sham treatment that was designed to mimic ISF-NF but did not actually target the same brainwave activity.
The results showed that the treatment group had a significant improvement in sleep quality, as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), compared to the control group. The treatment group also had improvements in other measures of sleep, such as sleep latency and wake after sleep onset, as well as improvements in mood and anxiety symptoms.
Overall, the study suggests that ISF-NF may be a promising treatment option for individuals with insomnia. It’s important to note that this was a small study with a relatively short treatment period, and more research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the long-term effects of ISF-NF for insomnia.
Despite this, the potential benefits of ISF-NF for insomnia are exciting, particularly given the limitations of current treatment options. Medications can have side effects and may not work for everyone, while some forms of therapy can feel daunting. ISF-NF, on the other hand, is non-invasive and can be administered relatively quickly, making it a potentially more accessible treatment option. ISF is also often used to regulate the nervous system in concert with sleep therapies, which help change sleep behviours to support a shift to healthy and effective sleep routines.
If you are struggling with insomnia, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for you. The findings of this study suggest that ISF-NF may be a promising new avenue for treating this common sleep disorder.
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