Using neurofeedback to optimize sleep
Sleep is critical to health, and optimal sleep is essential for optimal health. Signs of inefficient or non-restorative sleep include the obvious signs (inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake up refreshed) but also daytime tiredness, irritability, poor concentration, slow reaction time and headaches. Another interesting indication is poor dream awareness, which indicates less time spent in REM stages of sleep. This is important because emotional processing centers are 30% more active during REM than any other time of a 24-hour day.
A study from June of 2022 found that neurofeedback therapy very effective at improving several aspects of sleep, including sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep) and sleep continuity (not waking up through the night). Over the 14 years that we have been offering neurofeedback therapy, sleep is by far the most frequent aspect of health that we see improve in patients. This holds true for those with sleep issues, but also in children with emotional regulation issues, people with focus and concentration challenges, and those who frequently worry and easily get stressed.
Sleep, Health and Human Performance.
Over the last 10 years, the impact that sleep has on human health and performance has become demonstrably clear. Adults who average less than 6 hours of sleep per night have greater risk of many health concerns, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anxieties and obesity. Even cancer has now been linked to sleep, and the CDC recently included night time shift work as a “probable carcinogen”.
The quality of the sleep you do get is also important, and research is now indicating that compromised sleep quality can be a major factor in the development of brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Several aspects of performance are also highly influenced by sleep:
Academics/Professional - retention, recall and critical thinking are all not only greatly enhanced with better sleep, but significantly com-promised with less sleep; For example, a mildly sleep-deprived 6th grader will perform at a 4th grade level on cognitive tests, and college students who sleep longer have been shown to have higher grades.
Athletics - athletes who get less than 7 hours of sleep are almost twice as likely to be injured in sporting events compared to those getting 8 hours of sleep or more.
Your sleep is designed to heal and restore your brain and your body, but it requires adequate time to do so. If you struggle to get the sleep that you need due to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or simply are waking up exhausted, call us to learn about how Neurofeedback Therapy may be able help you and your family!
Do you want to live life to the fullest? Optimize your sleep through neurofeedback therapy. Click here to get started as a patient, or call (203)316-8212.