Neurology, Neuromuscular Disorders,
Sleep Medicine, and Psychology

Insomnia

Insomnia

Insomnia has become an epidemic in America. Two thirds of Americans have significant difficulties sleeping intermittently throughout their life. Half of them consider their problem severe or chronic. Insomnia may be a problem getting to sleep, or staying asleep, or can be the perception of insufficient nonrestful sleep.

Insomnia as a primary disorder is often caused by significant stresses, both physical and emotional, occurring in a person's life. Often, in chronic insomniacs there is or conditioned component that keeps the insomnia going. Individuals with chronic insomnia also have physical predispositions not sleeping well. Research has revealed that the electrical activity of the brain of individuals with chronic insomnia differs significantly from healthy sleepers.

Treatment

The treatment of insomnia is multimodal. This means that a variety of different behavioral, educational, and medication modalities are useful in alleviating the condition. Medications are often appropriate, safe and effective. It is desirable, however, to find a non?medicine long term solution to the problem of insomnia. Relaxation therapy and education regarding good sleep hygiene, as well as behavior therapy are useful non-medication options to help individuals sleep better. The technique of using biofeedback to teach relaxation has been very effective in helping people get to sleep. The technique of neurofeedback  is also an effective non-medication option to help restore normal sleeping patterns.

For more information on neurofeedback, read the book Symphony in the Brain, by Jim Bobbins, or visit the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback's web page at http://aapb.org.