Benefits of Neurofeedback therapy for insomnia
Neurofeedback improves sleep onset, quality, and consistency. A good night’s sleep contributes to your ability to concentrate and make good decisions effectively throughout the day. Without sleep, memories aren’t consolidated, healing doesn’t occur, and the brain can even start eating itself. After one night of sleep, a person becomes exhausted and easily annoyed. Multiple nights without enough sleep contributes to chronic pain, cognitive deficits, and slowed impaired coordination.
Psychotropic medications, including sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants are most effective at treating short-term situations like traveling in a new time zone and recovering from surgery. Therapy and healthy lifestyle changes are more effective at treating long-term insomnia. Evidence shows that retraining the brain impacts sleep regulatory mechanisms, allowing people to sleep better.
Common sleep issues that improve with neurofeedback include:
- Difficulty getting to bed
- Difficulty waking from sleep
- Not feeling rested after sleep
- Physically restless sleep
- Sleeping too long
- Restless leg syndrome
- Sleep terrors
- Dysregulated sleep patterns
Sleep is complex and involves many systems throughout the body. It’s impossible to say that sleep problems always improve as a result of neurofeedback. Our natural health practitioners will monitor and adjust your treatment based on your specific results.
How does neurofeedback work?
Neurofeedback works by retraining the brain and improving brainwave function in the key areas of your brain affected by insomnia. Poor sleep is a result of low alpha response. When you close your eyes, alpha should increase, causing you to feel calm, cycle into theta, and eventually fall asleep. If your alpha rhythm is interrupted by something (mental illness, trauma response, chronic pain, apnea) – falling and staying asleep becomes difficult or impossible.
We’ll record a brain map to identify which part of the brain has an EEG problem – that part of the brain is responsible for your lack of sleep. The strategy of neurofeedback therapy builds on instrumental conditioning: behavior that is rewarded is more likely to reoccur. When the brain produces healthy brainwave patterns and its own alpha waves, it’s rewarded by providing feedback. As the brain is rewarded, new responses, patterns, and pathways develop to improve brainwave function. Better and longer sleep is one of the first improvements seen from neurofeedback training.
How quickly does neurofeedback work?
Patients see positive results from neurofeedback therapy gradually. For most patients, initial progress can be seen within 15 sessions. A typical treatment can take between 20 and 60 sessions depending on the severity of your condition. Sleep may improve surprisingly fast for clients who have seen a list of specialists and struggled with sleep for years. Sleep is complex, so it’s important to remember that results will vary on a case by case basis.
Neurofeedback therapy is a drug-free, pain-free, non-invasive method of treating insomnia. There are no risks of side effects and the results are long-lasting. More than 1,800 certified neurofeedback providers report success on using neurofeedback training to treat insomnia patients.