How Neurofeedback & Biofeedback Therapy can Help with Insomnia

Insomnia is becoming an epidemic. This condition affects about 30% of adults on a short-term basis and about 10% of adults chronically. Sleep is crucial to an individual’s health. Lack of quality sleep can lead to issues with memory, difficulty focusing, mood disorders, lack of motivation, and so much more (Hefferen, T.M., 2019). Generally, physicians recommend sleep medications to help people with Insomnia, but unfortunately, these medications come with side effects and disrupt the restorative components of sleep. If you are suffering from Insomnia there is hope. Neurofeedback and biofeedback therapies offer a non-invasive, safe, and effective way to help restore your sleep patterns.

Neurofeedback & biofeedback therapies are being used now to help people with Insomnia. Biofeedback treatment involves monitoring various measurements of a person’s physiology (ie. Heart rate, breathing patterns, temperature, skin conductance, etc.) and placing it on a screen in the form of feedback. The individual will then be able to alter their physiology through guided relaxation techniques to be in a more optimal range. Neurofeedback is EEG biofeedback. So, instead of physiological measurements on the screen, brain activity in the form of brainwaves is provided to the client in a feedback modality.

Our approach to Insomnia is done in a holistic way. We partner with you and customize our treatment plans to your individual nervous system and brain functionality. We provide nutritional and supplemental recommendations, visualization/meditation techniques to help you fall asleep, optimize brain activity, and improve overall autonomic nervous system functioning.

Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of these treatment methods for Insomnia. One study found that using an SMR (sensory-motor-rhythm) protocol in neurofeedback improved each participant’s quality of sleep (Hammer, B. U., Colbert, A. P., Brown, K. A., & Ilioi, E. C., 2011). Further, a study that looked at HRV (heart rate variability) biofeedback training observed sleep and mood improvements in patients experiencing insomnia and major depressive disorder (Lin, I. M., Fan, S. Y., Yen, C. F., Yeh, Y. C., Tang, T. C., Huang, M. F.… Tsai, Y. C., 2019).  The evidence supports the use of neurofeedback and biofeedback methods to alleviate symptoms of Insomnia.

If you are suffering from sleep disturbances and Insomnia, we can help. We offer personalized, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical methods to improve your quality of sleep and thus quality of life.

References

Hefferen, T.M., (2019). Insomnia awareness day facts and stats. Sleep Education. Retrieved from: http://sleepeducation.org/news/2014/03/10/insomnia-awareness-day-facts-and-stats

Hammer, B. U., Colbert, A. P., Brown, K. A., & Ilioi, E. C. (2011). Neurofeedback for insomnia: A pilot study of Z-score SMR and individualized protocols. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 36(4), 251-64. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.humber.ca/10.1007/s10484-011-9165-y

Lin, I. M., Fan, S. Y., Yen, C. F., Yeh, Y. C., Tang, T. C., Huang, M. F., … Tsai, Y. C. (2019). Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Increased Autonomic Activation and Improved Symptoms of Depression and Insomnia among Patients with Major Depression Disorder. Clinical psychopharmacology and neuroscience: the official scientific journal of the Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology17(2), 222–232. doi:10.9758/cpn.2019.17.2.222