New technology focused on brain health can help you fall asleep easier and get a good night’s rest.
By Michael Cohen, Founder, Center for Brain Training
If you struggle to fall asleep, have trouble staying asleep, and can’t remember the last good night’s rest you’ve had, you are not alone. Studies show that between 50 and 70 million Americans don’t get enough sleep.
Many resort to supplements or prescription drugs in order to slumber more easily. Perhaps the supplements you’ve tried aren’t effective. What if you can’t tolerate medications, or you’re concerned about the effects of taking drugs long term?
Sleep and the brain
Sleep is important to overall health and wellness. Studies show that over 40 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders every year, and another 20 million experience occasional sleep problems.
Getting enough sleep isn’t a luxury. Chronic insufficient sleep doesn’t just make you drowsy – it can contribute to a whole host of health problems, including increased stress, lowered immune functioning, decreased cognitive functioning, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other emotional and behavioral challenges. Often times, sleep problems are brain issues.
Our brain regulates our sleep. When your brain is functioning optimally, it smoothly transitions from an alert and awake state, to a relaxed state, and then into a sleep state, allowing a healthy amount for rest for your entire body to recharge and repair itself. If the brain’s timing is out-of-synch, the brain has difficulty switching to these states, if at all.
Sleep problems can become more pronounced and difficult to manage if the brain waves are too fast or too slow. If we’re struggling with sleep issues, our brain may need a tune-up in order to help it function better and maintain healthier patterns.
“Tuning Up” The Brain
Neurofeedback is one option that consistently and effectively helps improve sleep. 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 60s, came to us because she had struggled since high school with falling asleep and staying asleep. She shared that she had averaged about four hours of sleep for most of her life, and rarely slept for more than five hours. She was always tired and concerned about cognitive decline.
She began brain training with neurofeedback and within three months her sleep gradually increased. She’s now able to fall asleep more quickly and reports sleeping up to seven hours most nights.
“I feel much more energy and optimistic as a result of the increase in sleep. It’s made all the difference,” shared Cheryl.
How Neurofeedback Works
Neurofeedback is a painless, non-invasive technique that helps change brain patterns naturally. It measures your brain’s rhythms and rewards the brain when it makes healthy patterns. With sleep problems, for instance, 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 these 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 or 2 in the morning. He needed to wake by 6:15 am in order to get to work, and this ongoing inability to sleep was starting to affect 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 Bill try neurofeedback as well.
In just over two months of neurofeedback, Bill was able to fall asleep between 10:30 pm and 11:00 pm almost every night.
Why Haven’t I Heard of Neurofeedback for Sleep?
Many doctors aren’t aware of neurofeedback, or its role in helping improve sleep. Often, improved sleep is the first significant change noticed by people when they start neurofeedback, even if they came to neurofeedback for something completely unrelated to their sleep struggles.
We know that sleep hygiene, the habits before sleep, can play a role in improving sleep, as can 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.
Once doctors learn about the positive results in their patients, they are generally very receptive to neurofeedback and want to learn more.
Contributory factors, such as sleep apnea, 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 improve behavioral and emotional responses. People often see a noticeable improvement in sleep within the first four to six sessions.
Neurofeedback can also be beneficial for kids with difficulty falling asleep, kids who have nightmares or bedwetting problems, and kids who are difficult to wake in the morning.
About The Center for Brain Training
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 works 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.
The 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. We have offices in Juptier and Boca Raton. Learn more at www.CenterForBrain.com
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
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.
Boca Raton Office