Insomnia, Sleep Disorders, and Neurofeedback
Have you ever had a restless night’s sleep?
That day did it impact your memory, your ability to think?
Did you feel irritable, teary, or numb?
Were you overwhelmed by fatigue, at your wit’s end, and easily angered?
If you have ever had a poor night’s sleep, you know the damage it can wreak on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Just one night without sleep can make you feel overcome with exhaustion and easily annoyed. Multiple nights without sleep can lead to chronic pain, profound cognitive deficits, and slowed impaired coordination.
Insomnia affects approximately 1 in 4 Americans each year. In a world where professional and personal pressures make peak performance an important ingredient of success, lack of sleep has become, in the words of Arianna Huffington, “the existential cry of the modern age”.
Neurofeedback offers a way to help with sleep problems. Specifically, Infraslow or ISF Neurofeedback has been shown to help our clients improve sleep onset, quality and consistency, helping them feel and perform better.
How does neurofeedback work?
Research suggests that neurofeedback works by increasing sleep spindle density and stabilizing the part of the nervous system that regulates wakefulness, sleep and arousal. One study that compared neurofeedback to biofeedback interventions for a population with insomnia found that neurofeedback treatment resulted in increased total sleep time, increased REM sleep, and decreased periods of waking after sleep onset. Recent research confirms the Infraslow frequencies direct participation in the maintenance of sleep stages. Not only have Infraslow frequencies been correlated with sleep stages they have also been linked in human and animal studies with the fragility of sleep maintenance.
Our clients regularly report that after a few sessions of Infraslow neurofeedback training, they are better able to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get the 7-8 hours necessary for optimal health. Infraslow or ISF neurofeedback is especially helpful in regulating sleep disorders. ISF improves sleep by teaching the body to relax. It reduces anxiety and moves the central nervous system into balance. The infraslow frequencies have a direct impact on neurons in the brain that influence our Circadian Rhythms, our 24 hour biological clock.
Psychiatric Medication and Sleep
Sleep is considered the ultimate key to good health. Regular, deep sleep is not only restorative and reparative for our bodies and brains, it also helps prevent sickness, helps maintain a healthy body weight, reduces your risk of heart disease, prevents diabetes, reduces your risk of dementia, lowers stress levels, supports a positive social life and helps you make good decisions.
Many people who suffer from a serious sleep disturbance, including insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea turn to psychotropic medication as a way to help them sleep better. These drugs include sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, and some antidepressants.
Sleeping medications are said to be most effective when used sparingly for short-term situations such as traveling to places with different time zones or recovering from medical procedures such as surgery. In some cases where medication is required by professionals, it is best recommended to combine medication with therapy and healthy lifestyle changes.
Neurofeedback offers an alternative to the prescription medicine paradigm. Specifically, Infraslow or ISF Neurofeedback regulates sleep architecture such that our clients are better able to get regular, restorative sleep. The improvements in sleep have profound effects on our client’s quality of life.
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