Brainwave biofeedback is effective for all manner of sleep disorders.
is a most powerful human drive. All adults really do need 8 hours
of sleep and there is little variation on that requirement.
People are not good judges of their own performance levels when it comes
to sleep deprivation. So, when someone says they get by just fine
on 6 hours of sleep, it means they are not bothered by lack of
sleep. That is, they just don’t know. But poor sleep ages the body
and impairs all cognitive and emotional functions.
training professionals concur that the most common client report about
neurofeedback is better quality sleep. Some emphasize the
importance of re-establishing circadian rhythms or the arousal levels
that vary during the day and night.
During sleep there are
typically 4 or 5 up and down cycles in overall arousal lasting 60-90
minutes. Dreams and REM sleep occur at the most wakeful stage
while the muscles are numbed. The heart and brain never stop
working. But at the deepest level of sleep, the brain rests by
letting large neural networks all fire at the same slow rate.
The brain relaxes most
when 50% of the brain cells play follow the leader. This is very
restorative for the central nervous system. But the deepest level
of sleep is rare among adults in the big city. Most people get 30%
of their neurons to all relax at the same time. Those with sleep
disorders may never get close to regular cycles with deep stages of
All sleep problems can
be dealt with by calming down jittery brainwave activity while
awake. Brainwave biofeedback shows the brain that it can discard
excess commotion without a problem. You need biofeedback to learn
that lesson. Then you need biofeedback practice to stop making
wasted effort that disturbs sleep.
This is a powerful form
of stress reduction or relaxation training. Training so powerful
that the results last for a lifetime. When the mind discovers a better
way to operate, it recognizes it, accepts it and adopts the more
efficient mode of operation. We all try too hard to get the job
Reducing the overall
level of mental turbulence allows sleep to come more
quickly. Lessening the excess noise in the brain allows
sleep to be maintained until it is time to wake up.
Brainwave biofeedback has been shown to be effective for other sleep disorders as well. Restless leg syndrome
is a strange disorder that may be completely unconscious. When it
is conscious it may be experienced as a tingling or burning in the leg,
knee or foot. The bed mate may experience restless leg syndrome
as kicking during sleep. Sometimes this is both discovered and
resolved during neurofeedback training.
also seems to respond well to neurofeedback training, but not at the
80% rate that is common for other disorders. Sleep apnea is more
than loud snoring. The problem in sleep apnea is when the
relaxation of sleep causes airway blockage and breathing stops for a
while. As lack of air causes panic, you begin to wake up. This
arousal allows the air to flow again and sleepy relaxation
returns. It is not unusual for this cycle to happen hundreds of
times per night! There is often no deep sleep, just skimming the
surface between unconscious sleep and unconscious panic. After 8
hours of quiet battle you are still sleep deprived.
There are several kinds
of remedies for sleep apnea. The most often effective remedy is a
continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) mask and motorized pump.
Like blowing up a balloon, air pressure keeps the airway open but does
not interfere with breathing. It may interfere with sleep and the
compliance rate for CPAP is about 50%.
Another remedy is a
dental appliance that is held in the mouth like a boxer’s
mouthpiece. There are a few strategies here for the custom-made
device. Some pull out the tongue. Mostly they jut the lower
jaw forward. To get a feel for how this works, just try snoring
right now. Next try it with your tongue out. Now stick out
your jaw and try snoring. While
a dental appliance usually helps, it may not help enough. The
cost is often about $1000 and is usually not covered by insurance.
There are surgical
procedures that remove various tissues that obstruct the airway.
Ask hard questions about effectiveness before going under the knife for