Quality Sleep is Vital for Brain Health
If you’re experiencing sleep problems, you’re not alone. Sleep issues are an everyday occurrence for many. In fact, according to the Sleep Foundation, almost half of all US adults feel sleepy during the day, anywhere from three to seven days a week. And studies published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that between 11% and 50% of adults have chronic insomnia.
On the subject of sleep’s importance to your brain, the NIH writes:
“Quality sleep — and getting enough of it at the right times — is as essential to survival as food and water. Without sleep you can’t form or maintain the pathways in your brain that let you learn and create new memories, and it’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly.
“Sleep is important to a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other. In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep. Recent findings suggest that sleep plays a housekeeping role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake.”
So, what can you do to improve your sleep? First, it’s important to know the cause of your sleep issues. Often, it can be lifestyle choices — like eating or exercising too close to bedtime, alcohol or caffeine consumption, or others. And medical conditions can also contribute, including brain dysfunction. For example, those suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety, or a traumatic brain injury can have difficulty sleeping.
Fortunately, MeRT treatment can help with those conditions and many more. And this breakthrough treatment can also help improve both sleep quality and duration, with lasting results.*
Call Our New Patient Coordinator to Learn More about MeRT Treatment for Brain Health and Sleep.
MeRT Treatment in the San Jose Area Can Improve Sleep
Dr. Thomas Geraci at Summit Brain Health has brought an emerging technology to Northern California called MeRT, which stands for Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy. We have had high success rates in treating a variety of conditions with MeRT, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, autism, and more. We also help people optimize their brain performance.
This gentle, drug-free, non-invasive treatment optimizes brain function. First, we perform precise diagnostic testing to identify any areas of brain dysregulation, as well as where the brainwaves may not be communicating properly. We then tailor a treatment plan using targeted TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) to improve brain connectivity and function.
This treatment has many benefits, and one of the first that patients often notice is an improvement in both sleep quality and duration.* And that high-quality sleep is vitally important for continued brain health.
I have better sleep. I used to have night terrors and would scream every night. But now, I no longer scream in my sleep. The change for me felt subtle. Now, after a few months I look back and I’m like, ‘Wow’ — this MERT treatment changed my life all for the better.” – Lindsey B.
A Healthy Sleep Cycle is Essential for a Healthy Brain
No matter how much sleep you get, you may still wake up feeling unrested. That has everything to do with interruptions in your sleep cycle. This is the time the body and brain restore and regenerate themselves. Quality sleep is all about a healthy sleep cycle.
Here’s how it works: You experience several rounds of the sleep cycle during the night. Each cycle is composed of five stages, and different physiological changes occur during each stage. For example, you have likely heard of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Well, this is just one stage of the sleep cycle — the other four are called non-REM sleep. But each stage is important.
Stages of the Sleep Cycle
Stage 1: This is when you first begin to fall asleep. It’s a light sleep state, where brain activity begins to slow down, but you’re still aware of what’s happening and can be easily awakened.
Stage 2: Here, you are in a full sleep state. Your body temperature lowers, your heart rate slows, and your brainwaves continue to slow down.
Stage 3: In this moderate to deep sleep stage, your brainwaves slow down even more, and low-frequency delta waves begin to appear. Muscles relax, and breathing slows.
Stage 4: This stage is the deepest level of sleep. The deep sleep stage is most important for healing and restoration, as your brain is in a delta wave pattern and can detoxify and repair itself. And the pituitary gland releases human growth hormone, responsible for cell growth, reproduction, and regeneration.
Stage 5: REM sleep, or the dreaming stage. The eyes move rapidly behind the lids, and breathing is shallow and rapid. This stage stimulates the sections of the brain needed for memory and learning. After about 10 minutes of REM sleep, the brain generally cycles back through the non-REM sleep stages.
Sleep cycles typically average 90 minutes, but they’re not all the same length. You spend less time in REM sleep and more time in the deep sleep stage during the earlier part of the night. Conversely, the deep sleep stage is shorter and REM sleep is longer, closer to the morning.
How to Improve Your Sleep and Your Brain Health
When patients come to see us for help in healing their brain disorders, most also have sleep problems. And MeRT can certainly improve sleep quality. However, sleep and health are a two-way street: sleep disorders can cause serious health conditions, just as health issues can cause sleep problems.
That’s why it’s important to do everything possible to improve your sleep. Unfortunately, once the brain establishes a behavioral pattern, it will fire neurotransmitters to continue that pattern. MeRT can help change those brainwave patterns and restore brain function, but it’s also vital to know how to keep your brain healthy by establishing new habits and behaviors.
Melatonin, Cortisol, and Your Circadian Rhythms
Melatonin (also called the sleep hormone) helps to orient your circadian rhythms and is a crucial element in a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is another vital part of this cycle, as elevated cortisol levels can make it hard to sleep. Here are a few things you can do to regulate your melanin and cortisol production:
- Expose yourself to direct sunlight first thing in the morning for at least 20 minutes without sunglasses on. This will reset your pineal gland, which makes melatonin and regulates your circadian rhythms.
- Reduce your blue light exposure by unplugging from your digital devices one to two hours before bed. Blue light inhibits the release of melatonin at night.
- Don’t exercise too late in the day, as this can raise your cortisol levels.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day to help regulate your circadian rhythms.
Additional Behavioral Changes You Can Make for Better Sleep
- Use blackout curtains and a sleep mask to make the room as dark as possible.
- Try not to eat a heavy meal close to bedtime and eat your last meal three hours before going to bed.
- Eat a cleaner diet and improve your gut health, as the gut microbiome (also called the “second brain”) has a direct effect on how the brain and body function.
- Avoid excessive alcohol use. Alcohol can interfere with your sleep cycles and prevent you from getting quality sleep.
- Monitor caffeine consumption, and don’t drink it too late in the day.
- If you have racing thoughts when trying to get to sleep, try a calming app. You can also meditate or write down your thoughts to get them out of your head.
- Turn down the thermostat, as studies have shown that people sleep better and don’t wake up as much throughout the night in a cooler room.
- MeRT treatment has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration.*
*Results from MeRT treatment vary from person to person and are not guaranteed.
Contact our New Patient Coordinator With Your Questions
We are here for you and understand what you are going through, and it doesn’t cost anything to call us. We can answer any questions you might have and provide further explanations if needed. Also, we can explain the entire process, protocols, costs, and any other details that you would like to know.
This is a no-obligation consultation, and we will take as much time as needed to talk with you. We want you to have the comprehensive knowledge needed so that you can decide if this is the right treatment for you.
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