What are Sleep Disorders and How Can Neurofeedback Help?
Many of us have experienced trouble sleeping at some point in our lives, but once it starts to affect our daily activities, it becomes more serious. Some sleep disorders can be serious enough to disrupt normal physical, mental, and emotional functioning every day. Some sleep disorders are disruptions in sleep which can be caused by many different things, such as insomnia, difficulty waking up, nightmares, night terrors, sleeping too long, not feeling rested after sleep, sleepwalking, narcolepsy, teeth grinding, and snoring.
Using Neurofeedback to Treat Sleeping Disorders
At least 40 million Americans each year suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders, while another 20 million experience occasional sleep problems. Although many of these issues that disrupt sleep seem like difficult things to alter, Neurofeedback is a tool that can be used to help make these changes. Neurofeedback, which is also known as EEG (electroencephalogram) Biofeedback, is a painless training system which trains the brain to perform more efficiently with the individual’s active participation. Our brains regulate our sleep, so if we strengthen the brain and teach it to self regulate, we will have a better quality of sleep. First, we need to find which areas of the brain are not performing the way they should be. In order to find these abnormalities, we measure the client’s brain waves by recording these activities while they wear a cap which has 19 different sensors on it. This process is called EEG. Once we have analyzed the EEG, which is known as qEEG, we will know which areas of the brain we want to train.
Once we identify the area of the brain to exercise, we place a sensor on this location of the head. Where the sensors are placed is specific to the individual, and the issue we are trying to address. We train these areas by having the client watch a movie, and if their brain waves are not in the parameters we have set, their movie will pause. Our brains want the movie to continue to play, so this reinforces the brain to perform within the parameters which have been set. During this process the neurons (cells in the brain) change. Once we have trained the neurons to perform the way we want them to, the brain will learn to match these parameters without being reinforced by Neurofeedback. These issues you may have had during sleep will start to decrease, and you will feel more rested and have more energy throughout the day.