Friday, April 17, 2015

[Sleep Specialist Malaysia] Brain waves predict our risk for insomnia

There may not yet be a cure for insomnia, but Concordia University researchers are a step closer to predicting who is most likely to suffer from it—just in time for World Sleep Day on March 13.

In his study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Thien Thanh Dang-Vu, from Concordia's Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology and PERFORM Center, explores the impact of stress on sleep. Although researchers already know that stressful events can trigger insomnia, the experiment reveals that some people are more vulnerable than others to developing the condition.
To determine the role of stress, the study examined the sleep cycles of 12 Concordia students as they went through the nerve-racking experience of finals. Measuring students' brain waves at the beginning of the school semester, Dang-Vu and his team found that students showing a lower amount of a particular pattern of brain waves were more at risk for developing insomnia afterwards in response to the stress of the exams.
The brain—specifically the deep, inner parts of the brain called the thalamus and cortex—produces electromagnetic activity during sleep. When monitored by diagnostic tools, this activity appears as patterns of squiggly lines that scientists refer to as spindles.
In a previous experiment, Dang-Vu and his team discovered that greater spindle activity helps sleepers resist waking, despite noise. The new study aimed to test whether there would be a similar relationship between spindles and stress.
The hypothesis proved true. "We found that those who had the lowest spindle activity tended to develop more disturbances in response to stress, when comparing sleep quality at the beginning of the semester and the end of the school semester," Dang-Vu says.
"We are not all equally armed when facing stress, in terms of how we can manage our sleep. Some people are more vulnerable than others."

How to increase spindle?
The preliminary studies carried out for the FWF project showed the positive effects of EEG biofeedback training on healthy people. This method has therefore now been tested in a pilot study on patients aged between 19 and 50 who suffer from sleep disorders. "The brain oscillations are trained during waking to a frequency range of between 12 and 15 hertz, known as the sensorimotor rhythm. This frequency range is also prominent in light sleep and manifests itself as sleep spindles, particularly when a person is falling asleep", explains Schabus. The patients were able to observe and learn to control their own sensorimotor rhythm (measured using EEG electrodes) on the computer screen. They were tasked with moving a compass needle on the screen to a green dot using only the power of mental relaxation. They received positive visual feedback each time they reached this dot, i.e. to increase the band power between 12 and 15 hertz.
"Using the training, we managed to strengthen the sensorimotor rhythm in a waking state and the sleep spindles in 16 out of 24 patients with mild insomnia. Those who responded well to the training reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep. This was ascertained by self-monitoring methods like sleep diaries and importantly also verified in our sleep laboratory", says Schabus, outlining the process. Each of the participants visited the sleep laboratory a total of 21 times, which meant that the effects could be studied in great detail. The researchers were also able to establish positive effects on memory consolidation when word pairs were retested after sleep following earlier learning. Interestingly, the subjective sleep quality among patients who successfully completed this type of biofeedback training also showed improvement

What is sleep spindle?

A sleep spindle is a burst of oscillatory brain activity visible on an EEG that occurs during stage 2 sleep. It consists of 12–14 Hz waves that occur for at least 0.5 seconds. Sleep spindles are generated in the reticular nucleus of the thalamus.

How can help you? 
1) Neuro-Hypnotherapy:
Doctors at Harvard University found that hypnotherapy actually promotes faster healing. Get hypnotized. Many insomniacs have tried this with great success. Under hypnosis, you might work out any personal issues that are robbing you of sleep. A clinical hypnotherapist can also "program" you to sleep. Our neuro-hypnotherapy technique able to help you! Personalized self-hypnosis method to fall asleep will be developed based on your brainwave response.

2) EEG biofeedback therapy/Neurotherapy 
Our EEG biofeedback/Neurotherapy is based on the international standardized 10-20 electrode location system. it is essentially a way of teaching you how to self-regulate your own electrical activity in the brain. A powerful tool for helping people fall asleep and stay asleep. Over 3,000 licensed health professionals such as psychologists, therapists, and doctors now use this new technology daily with patients. As a group, they report significant and consistent improvements for client sleep problems.

Call to schedule an appointment to meet me.
Based on your condition, I can help you to find the cause and suggest appropriate treatment.
Contact me now for more information.


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