Neurofeedback for insomnia can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Neurofeedback for Insomnia

According to the NIH, up to 70 million Americans cope with sleep disorders or chronic sleep loss. Historical treatment of insomnia has been with sleep aides including prescription medications and natural supplements. Sleep is complex and involves many systems, so it is impossible to suggest that sleep problems always improve with neurofeedback. What we do know is that there is an intimate connection between insomnia and disorders of arousal such as anxiety and depression. Easily observed on a qQEEG or brain map is elevated brain waves in the Delta and Beta ranges. Neurofeedback is able to help a patient reduce these overactive brain wave patterns resulting in better sleep onset and maintenance. As the brain becomes more balanced, clients report improved sleep and an easier time getting up in the morning. Often one of the first signs that Neurofeedback is helping any condition is a noticeable change in sleeping patterns.

RESEARCH SUPPORTING NEUROFEEDBACK FOR INSOMNIA

Better than sham? A double-blind placebo-controlled neurofeedback study in primary insomnia
Brain. 2017 February 23. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awx011

Results: Contrasting objective EEG-derived measures, Neurofeedback training had a beneficial effect on subjective measures of sleep quality.

Neurofeedback for Insomnia: A Pilot Study of Z-Score SMR and Individualized Protocols

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback DOI 10.1007/s10484-011-9165-y. Dr. Barbara Hammer. 2010 AAPB Presenter.

Insomnia is an epidemic in the US. Neurofeedback (NFB) is a little used, psychophysiological treatment with demonstrated usefulness for treating insomnia. Our objective was to assess whether two distinct Z-Score NFB protocols, a modified sensorimotor (SMR) protocol and a sequential, quantitative EEG (sQEEG)-guided, individually designed (IND) protocol, would alleviate sleep and associated daytime dysfunctions of participants with insomnia. Both protocols used instantaneous Z scores to determine reward condition administered when awake. Twelve adults with insomnia, free of other mental and uncontrolled physical illnesses, were randomly assigned to the SMR or IND group. Eight completed this randomized, parallel group, single-blind study. Both groups received fifteen 20-min sessions of Z-Score NFB. Pre-post assessments included qQEEG, mental health, quality of life, and insomnia status. ANOVA yielded significant post-treatment improvement for the combined group on all primary insomnia scores: Insomnia Severity Index (ISI p \ .005), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI p \ .0001), PSQI Sleep Efficiency (p \ .007), and Quality of Life Inventory (p \ .02). Binomial tests of baseline EEGs indicated a significant proportion of excessively high levels of Delta and Beta power (p \ .001) which were lowered post- treatment (paired z-tests p \ .001). Baseline EEGs showed excessive sleepiness and hyperarousal, which improved post-treatment. Both Z-Score NFB groups improved in sleep and daytime functioning. Post-treatment, all participants were normal sleepers. Post-treatment follow-up data of 6 subjects, 6-9 months following treatment with SMR and Live Z-score training. Five of the 6 reporting at follow-up maintained improvements and remained insomnia free; 3 of those 5 had had Insomnia >15 years. 2 of the 5 reported symptom abatement not only continued, but continued to improve during follow-up period.