Do you have problems falling asleep, staying asleep or never feel rested and are always tired? When is the last time you had 7 hours of restorative sleep?
Sleep problems, disturbances and disorders is a major problem in our society today with the stressful life and pace we live and especially if you had some form of brain injury, such as a concussion, stroke, MS or Parkinson Disease.
There are four types of sleep disturbances that can follow a Concussion. The first, Insomnia, is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. It is the most common sleep problem among the world’s population and has increased with the fast pace of today’s lifestyle. Insomnia often occurs immediately following a Concussion and if not treated, may continue for years. Hypersomnia is the inability to become fully awake or the need for excessive quantities of sleep. This is a very common symptom after a concussion, as in my own case when I would sleep for 19 hours a day. Sleep/Wake Cycle Disturbance, or Circadian Rhythm Disturbance is an interference with one’s inner clock that regulates periods of sleep and wakefulness. This condition may predate a concussion but be worsened by the injury, or it may be caused by the injury itself. Finally, parasomnias are a type of motor problem that includes night terrors, nightmares, periodic leg kicking, or the twitching of restless leg syndrome.
There are many types of treatments that are very effective to help you gain restorative sleep. These methods and approaches DO work to help with the symptoms and causes of sleep problems and insomnia. Some are reimbursed or paid by insurance. These are referred to as conventional approaches, while complimentary may or may not be paid by insurance. The last group is alternative approaches, which are NOT covered. Payment is not based on whether an approach is effective or even it vast research has been done. Payment is decided by a limited group of executives in insurance companies.
There are two conventional medical avenues to the treatment of sleep disturbances. The first is behavioral and/or environmental intervention, which includes the following:
The second conventional approach to correcting sleep disturbances is pharmacological treatment. The following substances can help if taken on a limited, short-term basis and under your doctor’s supervision:
Acupuncture and Scenar are very effective at correcting many aspects of sleep disturbance., along with changes in your what you eat. On our team of experts, we have several specialist in sleep problems including Martha Lindsay, our nutritional educator, Tom Tam and Bill Mogan who specialized in acupuncture, Neurofeedback is an extremely helpful nonpharmacological approach The drawback is that many insurance companies do not cover neurofeedback; thus, the thirty-plus sessions over the course of several years can be very costly. Dr. Diane and Paul Soper specialized in this area.
A highly cost effective method is cranial electro stimulation (CES), which is a FDA-approved medical device for insomnia. The blinking glasses of pRoshi help the brain to regulate itself whether you wear them or have them blinking against the wall during the night. Quantum Wave Light therapy has a specific setting for sleep, while the Q1000 can be used with acupuncture points to improve sleep. Oxygen therapy has also been found to be helpful. (This is different from the continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) or automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) used to manage sleep apnea.
Reiki and QiGong are very effective ways to treat sleep disturbances. Clara Diebold is our team Reiki expert, while Dr. Diane has been trained in both along with being a Bach Flower Practitioner. Bach Flower Rescue Remedy Sleep may also help. A Bach Flower practitioner can assess whether other remedies, such as Star of Bethlehem, are appropriate for you. Aroma therapy with lavender or chamomile oil is often used to promote sleep, as are a variety of homeopathic remedies and herbal preparations such as valerian root. It is important to consult with a naturopath or homeopathic practitioner with a background in working with mTBI patients before using any alternative products.
Over-the-counter sleep products are designed for the general population, not as remedies for specific physical conditions or disorders. Before purchasing an over-the-counter product, please consult with your doctor. Remember that each post concussive sleep disturbance is as unique as the person who was injured. An experienced professional can give you the best information about remedies especially suited to your symptoms and needs.
Our integrative team of Brain Health Experts provides various treatments for sleep problems and insomnia and can work with your current providers to help you regain your life again. If you live elsewhere in the world, the Brain Health Experts can provide virtual treatment too. If this is not possible, Dr. Diane® and/or the Brain Health team expert will find someone in your locale to help you.
If you want an end to your suffering, as well as a customized treatment program for your sleep problems or insomnia….. There is a Way!