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Sleep Research

for Sleep

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique that helps regulate brain activity, and has shown promise as an effective treatment for sleep issues based on a growing body of evidence. Numerous studies have suggested that neurofeedback can lead to improvements in sleep patterns. Neurofeedback for sleep has been explored as a potential intervention for various sleep disorders, including insomnia, nightmares, and other sleep-related issues. Positive outcomes have been reported, including improvements in sleep onset latency and total sleep time.

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  • A 2022 study confirmed that "neurofeedback training could alleviate the symptoms of insomnia" and that "sleep efficiency and sleep satisfaction were increased" in 17 adults participating in the study. 

  • In a 2023 study of 82 patients with chronic insomnia, researchers found "patients experienced a significant reduction in insomnia, an easier transition to natural sleep, a shorter time to fall asleep, fewer awakenings during sleep, and a much better quality of sleep" after using neurofeedback.

  • A 2011 study in the research journal Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback found "significant post-treatment improvement" in 12 adults with insomnia who "improved in sleep and daytime functioning." The researchers stated, "All participants were normal sleepers" by the end of the neurofeedback treatment. 

  • A Korean study in 2017 showed that "Neurofeedback not only provides control of insomnia symptoms but also results in a decreased risk of psychological comorbidities." This study found improved insomnia symptoms after only 10 sessions of NF.

  • The National Assocation on Mental Illness (NAMI) has concluded neurofeedback to be an "excellent complement" to other interventions. "Research shows that people who incorporate neurofeedback into their treatment plan feel better able to engage with therapy and implement therapeutic suggestions — and they often need fewer medications."​

A word about expectations and outcomes with NFB

Neurofeedback can be a promising avenue for managing insomnia symptoms, but it's important to approach it with realistic expectations and dedication. Here's what you should keep in mind:

  • Realistic Expectations: Understand that neurofeedback is not a magic solution. It can help improve sleep quality, but it may not completely eliminate insomnia. Set achievable goals and be patient with the process.

  • Active Participation: Success in neurofeedback depends on your active involvement. It's not a passive treatment. You must engage in the training process, stay committed, and work closely with your healthcare provider.

  • Consistency Is Key: Consistent training is essential for seeing results. Make a schedule and stick to it. Regular and ongoing sessions are more likely to lead to positive outcomes.

  • Communication: Maintain open communication with your healthcare provider. Share your progress, concerns, and any changes in your symptoms. This feedback will help tailor the neurofeedback protocol to your specific needs.

  • Lifestyle Factors: Neurofeedback is most effective when combined with a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management can complement the benefits of neurofeedback.

  • Complementary Strategies: Consider combining neurofeedback with other evidence-based treatments, such as behavioral therapy or medication, as recommended by your healthcare provider.

  • Individual Variability: Remember that responses to neurofeedback vary from person to person. What works for one individual may not work the same way for another. Be open to adjusting the training based on your unique needs.

  • Long-Term Commitment: Think of neurofeedback as a long-term commitment. Positive changes may take time, and maintenance sessions might be necessary to sustain the benefits. A typical course of neurofeedback for insomis 10-20 sessions. 

  • Final Outcomes: No treatment option is 100% guaranteed. Though neurofeedback has shown efficacy in treatment, it should not be expected to completely eliminate symptoms or be a replacement for medication.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. 

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