Insomnia is one of the most dreaded health issues. Losing a good night’s sleep can make us feel exhausted, but being unable to sleep well for months and even years has a much bigger toll on human health.
Luckily, brand new research makes this disorder easier to identify and treat. According to one of the latest studies conducted by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, there are five types of insomnia.
Each of these types has its own and unique sets of symptoms. This groundbreaking finding means that insomnia is not a one-size-fits-all health issue. Depending on the type of insomnia and its symptoms, it requires different treatment.
One in four people in the United States will develop insomnia each year. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, about ten percent of people will experience chronic insomnia that interferes with their everyday life.
Some of the common symptoms of insomnia include having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up too early in the morning and daytime fatigue. According to the Mayo Clinic, women are more likely to experience insomnia than men, as well as people who are multiply marginalized.
To analyze this common issue better, the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience has enlisted thousands of volunteers for the study on insomnia. They discovered that this problem is much more complicated than people initially thought.
Depending on the type of insomnia, there are different types of symptoms this health disorder manifest. Type 1 is characterized by “neuroticism.” The feelings that follow this type of insomnia are tension and depression.
On the other hand, types 2 and 3 seem to cause less distress than type 1. According to researchers, types 2 and 3 were “distinguished by their high versus low sensitivity to reward.”
Types 4 and 5 of insomnia experienced even fewer feelings of distress and tension. For those who had type 4, stressful life events were found to create “severe and long-lasting insomnia,” while those with type 5 seemed to be unaffected by it.
During the research, the scientists conducted EEGs, a scan that measures brain waves. They found that the participants with each type of insomnia responded differently to external stimuli.
Five years after the initial findings, a majority of the volunteers had retained the same type of insomnia. The researchers concluded that each type “anchors in the brain.”
That said, they discovered that each type needs a different approach when it comes to treatment. For example, some types are more responsive to cognitive behavioral therapy, while others give no results when this therapy is applied.
Neurofeedback is biofeedback (a broad term for being able to learn to control bodily functions through real-time feedback) that is specifically targeted to your brain.
Just like scientists who studied insomnia, scientists at Neurocore use EEG machines to check our brain waves. Brain waves, the naturally occurring electricity we have in our brains all the time, range from slow- to fast-moving, and can have an impact on how we feel.
For example, if we experience too many slow waves during the day, we may have a hard time focusing. Also, too many fast-moving waves could play a role when it comes to anxiety.
Neurofeedback frequently begins with brain mapping; this is done by attaching sensors to the scalp and real-time reading of the brain. Brian mapping reveals where and how are brain waves occurring in the brain.
One of the results of neurofeedback is improved sleep quality. Sleep-related issues often correlate with dysregulation of slow-moving delta waves. Those who have trouble sleeping at night may find they don’t have enough slow-moving waves to trigger the brain to fall asleep.
On the other hand, neurofeedback can help others realize they have too many fast-moving waves at night, which means their brains are too active and can’t turn off easily.
Based in Boca Raton, Florida and Livonia, Michigan, Neurocore Brain Performance Centers combine both traditional biofeedback and neurofeedback training methods. These methods are focused on designing a personalized program that trains your brain to function more efficiently.
Ways to Improve Sleep
While waiting for more findings that could possibly put an end to insomnia, there are some things we can do to help ourselves get a bit more sleep during the night. Years of sleep deprivation can lead to depression, heart disease, stroke, weight gain, and even dementia.
One of the things you can do to improve your sleep quality is to stop watching the clock. Sure, the urge to constantly count the hours is serious, but once you see how many hours you’ve got left, you actually open the door for anxiety and stress.
Another thing you can do is to reduce your blue light. That means stop looking at your phone and computer at least an hour before bedtime. If you really need to check your phone, switch it to sleep setting (most smartphones today have this option).
And speaking of lights, keep your bedroom dark and minimize the light given off by your alarm clock. To the human brain, light is a major cue to wake up. In case you have a hard time waking up in the morning, open your blinds as soon as possible. Also, consider getting a blue light that will help you start your day.
Keep your bedroom cool and quiet, preferably between 60 and 67 degrees at night. Avoid leaving music or TV on while sleeping. In case you need noise to sleep, try using a white noise machine.
For more articles related to ADHD, anxiety, depression, sleep, and more visit: https://www.neurocorecenters.com/blog