Why Neurofeedback Is Like A Superhero That Slays InsomniaAlex Theoret
Let’s say you’re the world’s worst farmer. You have a gigantic stable. You have, conservatively speaking, a billion cows. You don’t clean the stable for thirty years. Thirty. Years. Who do you call?
Hercules, of course.
And Hercules has to help. As half-God, half-human, he’s constantly screwing up. He must atone. So he dams a river, digs some trenches, lets the water loose in the building to wash all the gunk away. Sparkling clean it was, after that.
Thing is, you ALREADY HAVE your own Hercules in your brain. Who is this masked man? Sleep, and lots of it.
Think of your brain as full of tidal rivers and rivulets, ebbs and flows. Neurons, the grey matter of your brain, are like hummocks in all this fluid. Fully seventy-five percent of your mind is water, much of it filling the spaces between the neurons that do the work of thinking. As you go about your conscious life, driving the car, planning dinner, splitting the atom, negotiating world peace—the day-to-day thinking tasks we all perform—neuronal activity creates toxic waste, byproducts of consciousness.
Like bad citizens, neurons leave their burger wrappers and empty beer cans lying around, too busy being awake to take care of them. Given that the space between neurons shrinks when you’re thinking, there’s no real place to dump the waste, anyway.
What the brain needs is a rush of water, open channels so fluid can sweep through taking all that neuronal trash out to the lymphatic system, the liver, the lungs, the kidneys—the handlers of the body’s metabolic garbage.
Without this cleaning, like a filthy stable, the brain can’t do its job. It gets slow. It gets clogged. It gets inefficient and ill.
Some of the newest sleep study research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that when the brain’s awake, the muck piles up. No cleaning. No rivers moving. Dammed channels everywhere.
The good news? The same research shows that the best way to get that fluid rushing through as it should, to get the toxins out, is sleep. Sleep. Simple and beautiful.
Sleep literally opens the spaces between neurons. Science reports that the NIH’s tests revealed how, during sleep, fluid can flow rapidly between neurons. Researchers have proved that neurotoxins disappear faster when subjects sleep, particularly those that seem to cause chronic damage like in Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep opens the trenches, undams the rivers of cerebrospinal fluid, takes the trash out on waves and waves of the water that composes most of your brain. It relaxes the tiny glia cells who, when they’re not busy making connections, can curl up in little balls, adjust their mouths, and take a snooze when you do, letting the tide come on past them to wash out all those stale cheese curls and beta-amyloids.
So here’s the other good news: you don’t have to hit up big pharma to improve your sleep. Many do it 100% naturally with neurofeedback. Brain training with a good neurofeedback machine – like the NeurOptimal® Personal Trainer – can make a world of difference in the depth and quality of your sleep. It’s sort of like emptying that little “trash” icon on your desktop…without the crumbly paper noise.
So neurofeedback is the new Hercules. It lays waste to waste. The improved sleep you enjoy as a result of brain training “scrubs” your grey matter so it functions like it should. Getting the best sleep you can, the most relaxed, the most creative, makes your mind freer, cleaner, more effective. More productive. So you can be your own superhero.
Photo: JD HancocK/flickr