An amazing 50-70 million American adults suffer from sleep disorders and for about one-third of adults, the problem is insomnia. Many patients don’t seek treatment because they’re worried about the side effects associated with sleep medications. Or they take sleep medication for a time and then stop when they experience side effects.
At MindSet in San Diego, California, Kevin Murphy, MDand our team offer personalized repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (PrTMS), a safe and painless treatment that effectively relieves your sleep problem without needing to take medication. Here’s what you need to know about PrTMS.
Sleep disorders and irregular brainwave activity
When you sleep, your body continuously cycles through four stages of sleep. On average, most people go through all four stages about 4-6 times every night, although the length of each stage varies as the night progresses.
Each of the four stages has a well-defined brainwave pattern that reflects the activity of your neurons while you’re in that stage. By performing an electroencephalogram (EEG) while patients sleep, experts can easily identify if their sleep cycles are normal. Studies of EEGs in people with sleep disorders show that they have irregular brainwave patterns at specific times when they sleep.
For example, patients with insomnia have different alpha brainwave patterns when they first start to fall asleep, often returning to faster neuron activity that resembles their brainwaves when they’re awake. We can target these irregular brainwaves and normalize them without needing medications. Instead, we use PrTMS.
PrTMS treats sleep disorders without medication
PrTMS combines standard rTMS with a revolutionary protocol created by our team that produces optimal results:
RTMS a treatment that targets the exact area of your brain where the irregular brainwaves originate. Then we treat that area with painless, repetitive magnetic pulses. The magnetic pulses stimulate nerve activity in that area, which restores normal brainwaves and alleviates your sleep disorder.
Many providers offer rTMS. What they don’t offer, however, is our personalized protocol that customizes your rTMS treatment. Before your PrTMS treatment starts, we carefully analyze your brainwave patterns using our wireless PeakLogic ComfortScan™ EEG. Then, we use your EEG information to map your brain activity and identify irregularities.
We also ask you to complete a questionnaire that gives us detailed information about your symptoms. The questionnaire, along with the EEG, also shows if you have any problems like depression that contribute to sleep disorders.
For the final step, we use our software to evaluate your brainwave map together with your questionnaire information. Armed with this analysis, we make treatment decisions about the intensity of the magnetic pulse and the frequency of your treatment. In many cases, we can use less magnetic stimulation than a standard protocol, yet we achieve great results because we take the time to precisely analyze your brain.
PrTMS improves the quality of your sleep
Research is still in the early stage, but the studies published so far show positive results using PrTMS to treat patients with sleep disorders. One study published in the scientific journal Sleep Medicine in April 2019 found that standard rTMS significantly improved sleep quality and reduced insomnia and daytime sleepiness.
After receiving one rTMS treatment daily for two weeks, the improvement in sleep quality lasted at least a month. Additionally, the treatment reversed the associated irregular brain activity.
For most patients, we can do even better using our personalized approach. And we typically produce longer-lasting results with a treatment protocol that lasts 6-8 weeks rather than two weeks.
Don’t keep struggling with a sleep disorder. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your health. Call MindSet or schedule an appointment online to learn how PrTMS may help resolve your sleep problem.