Sleep Problems and Your Brain

Sleep problems brain neurofeedback

Do you have trouble turning your brain off at night?  Does your over-active thinking get in the way of either getting to sleep or staying asleep?

Did you know that your brain can be the biggest factor causing your sleep problems?

The Problem

Sleep problems are often related to brain dysregulation.

When the anxiety networks of your brain are overexcited, as happens with chronic stress, your brain has a hard time turning off.  It’s not just a thinking problem, nor a biochemical problem.  It’s a wiring problem. 

The Good News

At Memphis Neurofeedback, we can help re-wire the brain. We train the brain to be more calm and less reactive to stressors.  When the brain develops calmer habits, it is more able to settle down into sleep and stay asleep.

When you get good sleep you are ultimately think more clearly and creatively.  And even more than merely improving sleep, with neurofeedback, we often see IQ actually increase!

So, if you want to be healthier, sleep better, get smarter, and perform better in all areas of your life, invest in becoming your optimal self by investing in Neurofeedback.

 There are several kinds of Neurofeedback on the market now and so you want to be a smart consumer. Here are the questions you should ask of any provider who is offering Neurofeedback:

  1. Are you certified by the BCIA?  
  2. Is your Neurofeedback FDA Approved?
  3. Is your Neurofeedback based upon my individual functional neuroimage, or 3-D Brainmap?  Or are you using a one-size-fits all program?
  4. Does a qualified Neurofeedback provider actually run my session or do you just hook me up to a machine and let it run a program?
  5. And for maximum impact, are you a Psychologist or Counselor who can also help us with the cognitive and emotional aspects of behavior and life change needed?

Dr. Dale Foster is a BCIA Certified Senior Fellow, a QEEG Diplomate and a Licensed Neuropsychologist with 30 years’ experience in evidence based NeuroFeedback.

Call us at Memphis Neurofeedback to learn more about how Neurofeedback can help you sleep!  (901) 624-0100.

Sleep Vs. Rest and Rest Vs. Stress

svr-rvs1

            One of the most important things we can do to help our mind and body to function better is to allow our minds to enter into a true state of rest as we sleep at night.  Not just a good night’s sleep, but a good night’s rest!  A true, full rest (whether day or night) is one of the best things that we can do, not only for our physical body, but for our mental state, hormone balance, emotionally, and even spiritually.  However, most of us do not get a good night’s rest, even with 7+ hours of sleep every night.  One very common problem is that  we are not letting our minds rest with our body.  Instead, it stays up most of the night tossing and turning with little to no rest because of the thoughts we leave to play with stress. 

In our modern age of computers and such devices, we are told that we need to clean and wipe out the cookies of our history so that our devices work properly and at a better rate for us, as is its purpose.  If we do not, we see the effects of it with slow, rundown devices that are problematic and are at risk of getting viruses, etc.  Likewise, our brains function and more accurately and appropriately for us when we learn how to rid our minds of the “cookies” that clutter us up!

  • Matthew 6:34 states, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough troubles of its own” (TLV Bible).  Worry is one of the most common and problematic “cookies” that take up our brain’s ability to function properly.  Like a virus, it can quickly grow and overwhelm us if we do not take measures to take hold of it, and  learn how to rid ourselves of it, day-by-day.

One helpful idea that most people discount because they do not believe it will work enough is… the listing!  Writing out your thoughts and to do’s is actually a beneficial way to clear your mind of worry during the night.

  • Before we explain the “listing,” I want you to first ask yourself, “Why do I worry at night?”   Most of us are so accustomed to worrying at bedtime that we no longer even view it as worrying, rather as having pressing thoughts or being busy thinkers and mental planners for our day.  Yet we do not fully know that, where mentally planning for your day is good, if you are using it to mask the stress of: oh, I hope I don’t forget to edit that portion in my report before submitting it, or Golly, I have to make sure I accomplish “this task” and “this task” in that order, or my whole day is going to be messed up… you are making excuses for your worrisome habit, and are depriving your mind, body, and soul of fully being able to rest for the night.
  • Now let us take a little closer look at this Listing idea we all keep hearing is such a beneficial help to us! 

    Listing:

    “Before you go to bed at night, take a moment to mindfully (with restful purpose) contemplate what the next day will look like for you (i.e. appointments, to do’s, questions for people, thoughts and ideas for someone or something, etc).”

  • It’s that simple!svr-rvs2

  • If you are a worrier in the night hours, and struggle sleeping because of all the things you need to get done once the sun is up overwhelms you, or you are afraid you will forget an important task which will need to be done, simply write it down.
  • This hack allows you to tell your brain, “It’s on paper.  I will not forget it now.  It can and will get accomplished at the right time.   It is what it is, and I (can) allow my mind to rest.”
  • Remember, don’t fully organize your day right now, just simply write down the things that come to your mind.  This helps your mind to release the demand of tomorrow, but not to overwork itself before bed (remember, we are trying to rest, not accomplish a brain workout).

Though this hack is commonly discounted, due to its simplicity, it has proven to be of great benefit for many who use it!  It allows your brain to relax knowing that it can truly put that thought away until morning!  

Try it as a one week challenge, and see how it helps
rest and relax your mind!

– Halleli Eason