Is there an option to taking drugs to sleep?
New technology helps you fall asleep easier, sleep better through the night, and feel more rested.
By Michael Cohen, Founder, Center for Brain Training
Do you find yourself lying awake at night worrying or being unable to shut off your mind? Maybe you don’t feel rested or like you’re always trying to “catch-up” on sleep? Do you wake multiple times througout the night? Does your child struggle with a sleep problem like nightmares or bedwetting?
Perhaps you’ve tried medications but didn’t like how foggy you felt the next day. Maybe you want an alternative to taking medications or long term. Have you tried various supplements and not seen much of a difference?
Sleep Problems and the Brain
Sleep is critical to good health. Over 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, and another 20 million experience occasional sleep problems.
Poor sleep can contribute to increased stress, lowered immune functioning, decreased cognitive functioning, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other emotional and behavioral challenges. Many times, sleep problems are brain issues.
Our brains regulate our sleep. When your brain functions optimally, it smoothly transitions from an alert and awake state, to a relaxed state, and then into a sleep state, allowing a healthy amount of rest for your entire body to recharge and repair itself. If the brain’s timing is out-of-sync, the brain has difficulty switching to these states, if at all.
If brain waves are too fast or slow, sleep problems can become more pronounced and difficult to manage. Sometimes the brain needs a tune-up to help it function better and maintain healthier patterns.
How Do I “Tune-Up” My Brain?
One option that consistently and effectively helps improve sleep is neurofeedback. Neurofeedback helps your brain change itself and create healthier patterns without medication. It’s a powerful tool to help regulate sleep naturally.
Cheryl, a woman in her 60’s, came to us because she had struggled since high school with both going to sleep and staying asleep. She told us she had spent most of her life sleeping about four hours per night, and rarely up to five. She was always tired and concerned about cognitive decline.
Within three months of brain training with neurofeedback, her sleep gradually increased. She now falls fell asleep much more quickly and reported staying asleep for up to seven hours.
She said, “I feel much more energy and optimistic as a result of the increase in sleep. It’s made all the difference.”
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback helps change brain patterns naturally. It measures your brain’s rhythms and rewards you when you make healthy patterns. For instance, with sleep problems, certain patterns in the brain are often moving too fast. Neurofeedback helps your brain learn how to make healthier patterns by giving your brain a reward when it slows down.
With repeated training, the brain learns to maintain those healthier patterns. Correcting sleep issues with neurofeedback just takes practice and reinforcement.
Another client, Bill, came to us because he was unable to sleep before 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning. He had to be awake by 6:15 a.m. to get to work, and his inability to sleep was affecting his work performance and his family life.
We were already working with one of Bill’s kids for ADHD. When his wife mentioned his sleep problem during a brain training session with their son, we suggested he try neurofeedback as well.
In just over two months of neurofeedback, he was able to fall asleep between 10:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. almost every night.
Why Have I Not Heard of Neurofeedback for Sleep?
Many physicians aren’t aware of neurofeedback or its role in helping improve sleep, although it’s often the first significant change noticed by people when they start neurofeedback, even if they came to neurofeedback for something completely unrelated to sleep struggles.
Once doctors learn about the positive results in their patients, they are generally very receptive to neurofeedback and want to learn more.
We know sleep hygiene (habits before sleep) can play a role in improving sleep, as can certain other behavioral modifications, yet many people resort to medication because medications are commonly known, and doctors are trained to provide prescriptions to help relieve their patients’ problems.
Contributory factors such as sleep apnea also need to be assessed in combination with neurofeedback training.
Does Neurofeedback Work for Kids and Adults?
People of all ages can have brain patterns that cause disruptions to their sleep. Neurofeedback is an excellent tool for kids and adults because it’s similar to playing a video game, except the game is played with your brain.
Many parents report to us that their child’s sleep is much improved, which can behavioral and emotional responses. People often see a noticeable change in sleep within the first four-six sessions.
Neurofeedback can be also beneficial for kids with difficulty falling asleep, kids who have nightmares or bedwetting problems, and kids who are difficult to wake up in the morning.
We offer a variety of other biofeedback and brain tools that can be helpful with sleep problems, and we encourage our clients to try different methods to see which work best.
Neurofeedback is a powerful tool to help regulate sleep. If you are interested in additional information about how neurofeedback can help your sleep issues, call our office at 561-744-7616.
About Center for Brain Training
Center for Brain Training is a team of compassionate professionals whose mission is to enhance the lives of people suffering from a variety of conditions that can be significantly improved with the help of neurofeedback.
Michael Cohen, President and Founder of the Center for Brain Training is one of the leading experts in brain biofeedback. For 16 years, he’s taught courses and provided consulting to MD’s and mental health professionals around the world, helping them incorporate new biofeedback technologies for chronic pain, anxiety and mood disorders, ADHD and neurological problems.
Renee Chillcott is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is the clinical director of the Boca Office of CenterforBrain.com. She has been practicing neurofeedback for almost nine years. She has worked for years using neurofeedback with anxiety, panic attacks and depression.
She reports that neurofeedback has helped her clients achieve far more success than with just psychotherapy or medications. The Boca office works with children, adults and families. Renee obtained her Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in counseling She has also received continuing education in the diagnosis and counseling of attachment disorders, teaching positive parenting skills, and peak performance neurofeedback.