A Neurotherapeutic Approach to
Sleep Disorders and Insomnia
Sleep disorders and insomnia are incredibly common. Fortunately, this type of disorder responds well to therapeutic neurostimulation.
From a neurotherapy perspective, sleep disorders and insomnia are correlated with a deficiency in slow-wave activity in the brain. Slow-wave activity, in the theta and delta bandwidths, is associated with states of deep relaxation and sleep. If the brain is not generating enough slow-wave activity, this may lead to troubles sleeping or feeling rested. Over time, this deficiency of slow-wave activity may contribute to relationship problems, work-related problems, memory problems, and general cognitive dysfunction. Chronic lack of good-quality sleep is a problem that infiltrates every aspect of life.
Fortunately, our therapeutic approach enables us to deliver slow-waves directly to the organ most in need of it: the brain. This targeted brain stimulation works to guide the brain to generate more of these slower, regenerative waves on its own. Successful neurotherapy often results in dramatic increases in clients’ ability to fall asleep and obtain good quality of sleep. This shift is reflected in positive changes in one’s mood, relationships, and work performance.
What is a typical presentation of insomnia in the EEG?
The number one hallmark of insomnia is a deficiency in slow-wave activity in the brain. The brain compensates for a lack of slow activity by generating an excessive amount fast beta brainwaves. The most common location for this compensatory fast wave activity is along the midline of the brain.
Central spindling, fast-wave activity is associated with an inability to enter into a state of relaxation and a heightened state of awareness. 10.1155/2016/6413473 A typical approach for this presentation is electrical, slow-wave stimulation of the vagus nerve. In our clinic, this is done through the noninvasive application of skin electrodes. Stimulation of this sort helps the body enter into a state of calm, parasympathetic relaxation, thereby enabling better, higher-quality sleep.
Research into neurotherapy as a treatment modality for insomnia/sleep disorders indicates that certain types of neurostimulation are profoundly efficacious in alleviating symptoms of these conditions. The following are a couple noteworthy examples of this research.
(1) Research published by Yue et al. (2020) indicated that slow-wave stimulation of the vagus nerve was significantly effective in alleviating fatigue, improving patients' quality of life; furthermore, this type of stimulation demonstrated minimal adverse effects (doi:10.1155/2020/6049891)
(2) Case studies published by Moore (2022) indicate that neurofeedback is effective and safe in alleviating insomnia. Moore (2022) also indicated that neurofeedback therapy helps the brain establish new patterns which remain in place long after treatment has concluded. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2022.959491
These studies are but a sample of research that supports the efficacy of neurofeedback and neurostimulation in the treatment of insomnia and sleep-related disorders. If you are considering neurotherapy as a treatment modality, it is helpful to be well-informed of how neurofeedback works and the potential it holds to help you obtain a better quality of life. We recommend Getting Started with Neurofeedback as clear, easy-to-understand overview of the science backing neurofeedback.
A consistent finding of research is that, for neurostimulation and neurofeedback to be effective, it needs to be tailored to your unique brain. Insomnia and sleep-related disorders have several presentations. For this reason, we consider the QEEG an invaluable tool in better understanding and treating you as a whole person. Feel free to reach out to us for more information or to schedule a QEEG brain scan.