As fundamentally biological beings, the function of our bodies and minds require time for rest and recovery. So central in fact is sleep to the health of an individual, that the length of its deprivation is consistently linked to a progressive decline in physical, cognitive, and mental health markers. It has shown to play a major role in the current epidemic of ADHD and PTSD, among many other common pathologies whose prevalence in the US has been on a steady rise.
There are currently many dozens of sleep disorders, all of which play a significant role in a multitude of physical and mental health dysfunctions. Common symptoms of poor sleep such as fatigue, daytime sleepiness, poor attention, aggression, brain fog, and reduced motivation, have vast consequences not only on personal and professional success, but on individual safety when combined with the realities of public transportation and the reliance on technology that can cause harm when misused. Disordered sleep is a wide-spread clinical complaint that is known to afflict about 30% of US adults in a given year. Children are currently also at a high risk of sleep quality loss as the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that just over 50% of all school age children receive an insufficient amount of sleep on a continuous basis. Children suffering from attentional diffuclties such as ADHD consistenly report poor sleep quality. The US Department of Transportation reports that 16% of all fatal car accidents were associated with sleep related drowsiness.
Sleep and the Brain
The role of sleep has been shown to have a dramatic influence on a wide range of health markers, such as cardiovascular and metabolic function. Most importantly it is not as important whether a sleep disorder is the cause of, or the outcome of something else, but that its management/regulation is shown to have immense clinical significance. One of these key features of sleep that has been discovered through technological means is it’s schedule, or stages. The ability of the brain to cycle through 4 distinct stages of sleep, is the defining feature that constitutes healthy sleep performance. This invaluable information has been elucidated through the advances of EEG/electroencephalography (brain wave) technology, which are measurements of the electrical activity emitted by different regions of the brain, often expressed in cycles per second (Hertz/Hz). Every stage of sleep has a unique brainwave profile associated with it, and one of the deepest stages of non-REM sleep has been defined by the prevalence of the slowest brain wave “Delta”
Reinforcing sleep function of the brain with neurofeedback
In the study of sleep disorders there are certain verifiable EEG/brain wave markers that have shown to have a strong link to the brain’s production of stable and healthy sleep activity.
One of these makers is the brainwave “Delta” which has shown to play a consistent and reliable role in sleep performance, in part due to its association with the metabolic activity of the brain. Delta is a brainwave that defines the deepest stages of sleep, and becomes dysregulated when sleep quality is impacted. The additional advantage to assessing Delta activity is that it suggests other health and lifestyle measures that can amplify sleep performance in addition to neurofeedback.
The sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) is involved in controlling motor activity as well as keen focus and attention, is another major biomarker of sleep health. This was the first brain wave signature that was researched in the 1960’s by Dr. Barry Sterman, who conducted the first study on the effect of neurofeedback. His research revealed that the generation of sleep spindles, which are an integral component to the quality of sleep, are the outcome of the brain’s ability to produce better SMR. SMR has since been shown to be a key feature of attentional regulation, and its training has had unparalleled success in remediating disorders such as ADHD.
QEEG brain mapping
The ability of the QEEG to offer an individualized approach to targeting the specifics that underpin someone’s sleep dysfunction, provides a cutting-edge approach that meets the client where they are. The QEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram) brain map process uses a 19-channel head cap to measure the electrical activity of the brain, and its corresponding anatomy. This clinical standard of mapping brain function has been established and universally referenced in academic and medical neuroscience. The application of the QEEG provides accurate and clinically relevant information on which areas may have abnormal activity. These areas are then configured into the neurofeedback protocols that a clinician will use in the course of the client’s neurofeedback training.
The Brain Excel difference
At Brain Excel, you will receive a one of a kind service that goes above and beyond the standard neurofeedback resource. Brain Excel will be able to log your progress and optimize your results. Our fitness and nutrition guidance gives clients the opportunity to harness the impact of brain training, through improving one’s overall health.
The biological foundation of the body consists of the sum total of the health of its many individual systems, organs, glands, and tissues. Health of the brain is influenced by the health of the rest of the body. Brain wave activity also reflects the metabolic function of the brain and body, which is best approached with diet, exercise, and lifestyle measures.
Brain Excel provides all clients with follow-up QEEGs every 20-30 session at no extra cost throughout the lifetime of membership. This provides information about the changes that the brain is making and allows a more precise tuning of the neurofeedback protocols.
Brain Excel helps all clients understand not only how the function of the brain corresponds to their own goals, but also how to have more healthy brain habits within their daily life.
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