How biofeedback therapy can improve sleep
During sleep we go through multiple stages of sleep, each having its own role in recovery and homeostasis regulation. Often times this cycle is disturbed to due stimulant intake such as caffeine or Adderall.
The stages of sleep are the following:
– Stage 1: It’s the first and the shortest, your body has not yet fully relaxed, brain activity starts decreasing. Waking someone up in this stage is easy. Many experience short twitches during this phase. Usually lasts 5 minutes before moving through further stages of sleep.
– Stage 2: During the first sleep cycle stage 2 can last 30 minutes. Brain activity is significantly lower. Muscles become relaxed, breathing and heart rate slow down. Brain waves show a new pattern and eye movement stops.
– Stage 3: Also known as deep sleep, during this phase the body is the most relaxed. The brain activity during this period has an identifiable pattern of what are known as delta waves. Deep sleep stage usually last 20-45 minutes and gradually get shorter as more time is spent during REM sleep.
– Stage 4: In this last stage of sleep also known as REM sleep (rapid eye movement) brain activity reaches levels nearing those when you’re awake. This stage is considered to be essential to cognitive functions such as the ability to learn, creativity, concentration and memory. REM phases get longer as the cycle of sleep consisting of these 4 stages repeats.
Why are these sleep stages so important?
Each stage has its own role in recovery and development and helping to regulate cognitive function, emotions and health.
People with insomnia or those who wake up often are more prone to mental fatigue during challenging tasks.
Sleep stages can be disturbed by factors like alcohol, smoking, caffeine, improper nutrition, dehydration and sleep disorders.
How can biofeedback help with sleep?
Biofeedback therapy can help those having trouble falling asleep by regulating emotions caused by anxiety and brain wave training. Within the first sessions of therapy sleep improvement is noticed, but for a long term solution lifestyle changes are necessary.