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Hyperarousal may cause insomnia, neurofeedback may cure insomnia

It turns out that insomnia may be more related to our nervous system than we previously thought.

We already know that biofeedback can help insomnia sufferers sleep; now it would appear that neurofeedback has the same effect.

Biofeedback and neurofeedback involve similar techniques; biofeedback relates to the peripheral nervous system and neurofeedback to the central nervous system.

In the latest study, researchers took twelve adult insomnia sufferers who had no other mental or uncontrolled physical illnesses and treated them with two different types of neurofeedback sessions. In total, the participants received fifteen 20 minute sessions.

Before the treatment, researchers found that a significant proportion of the participants had excessively high levels of arousal in addition to excessive sleepiness.

After treatment, every single participant was considered to be a normal sleeper. All showed improvement in four different insomnia scores; the Insomnia Severity Index, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Efficiency and the Quality of Life Inventory.

Rather amazing results, I'm sure you'll agree. I can't wait to see the results of future large scale studies. Of course, I'll report back on those as soon as I hear about them.

Source: PubMed

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Last updated: November 13, 2013

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • A. Marina Fournier
    April 13, 2012, 1:51 am

    Doug, I think that many of us have just that problem. I know that when in my youth, I could go to sleep and get the answer in the morning. However, I still had insomnia generally (but couldn’t stay awake when I needed to!).

    Possible TMI here:
    My orgasms and failed orgasms (the kind that just gives you a whisper) do keep me awake. so I guess you could say I’m hyperaroused then. Used to be, get an orgasm, go to sleep. Not since menopause–it’s as if something isn’t finished yet. Grrr.

  • Doug Stewart
    April 12, 2012, 11:20 am

    So I wonder what a neurofeedback sessions actually entailed? I can predict, with uncanny certainty, when I’ll have a poor night’s sleep. Any time I have a problem or question to think about when going to bed. And of all the meditative tricks I’ve tried, none seem to be able to overcome the “chatter” in my mind…