Are You Fatigue Rich
But Sleep Poor?

Sleep deprivation is a major problem in contemporary America. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that deprivation causes over 100,000 automobile accidents every year—more than half involving young drivers.

Sleep deprivation in school-age children causes poor concentration, cognitive impairment, discplinary problems, depression, and poor grades. In adults on the job, lack of sleep creates low productivity, irritability, and workplace accidents.

One of the world's most famous accidents, the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska, was caused by sleep deprivation. Sadly, most of the above problems are easily preventible, but few people adjust their lives to preempt them.

A 2005 report on the pervasiveness of sleep deprivation in the United States summarizes key trends below:

U.S. Racking Up Huge "Sleep Debt"

National Geographic News reports that Americans choose to deprive themselves of sleep because it is a low priority. Daytime sleepiness is a problem for one in five adults. Health costs are estimated at $15 billion annually; lost productivity is estimated at $50 billion.

The original report can be found by clicking on the link below:

Find Report Here

There is no indication that this trend has improved any in the last several years.

To confidentially discuss your unique challenges with sleep deprivation, call (714) 985-4700 now to schedule a FREE phone consultation.

WARNING: Although most sleep problems derive from psychological, behavioral, and/or lifestyle choices, a number of neurologically or biologically based disorders exist. Among these are:
  • sleep apnea
  • restless leg syndrome
  • narcolepsy
  • hypopnea syndrome
  • rapid eye movement behavior disorder
The Anxiety & Stress Center offers alternative, non-medication treatments for the former types of problems, not the latter. Proper outside referral will be made for those conditions.

Under NO circumstances should you stop taking any medication prescribed by your physician for sleep-related conditions without his or her guidance.

Drug Drawbacks

The great temptation in contemporary America is to take a pill whenever you have a psychological or behavioral problem. Sleep difficulties are no exception. Unfortunately, sleep medications may have a number of undesirable side effects. Though these reactions are not frequent, they are common and serious enough that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the press release noted below:

FDA Requests Label Change for All Sleep Disorder Drug Products

The FDA asked manufacturers to place stronger warning labels on all sedative-hypnotic drugs, i.e., all medications used to induce and/or maintain sleep. These drugs carry a number of inherent risks including:
  • sleep driving
  • making phone calls while asleep
  • preparing and eating food while asleep
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe facial swelling
Notice of this action was published in a press release

Find Press Release Here

The formal reference for this release is:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (March 17, 2007) FDA Requests Label Change for All Sleep Disorder Drug Products. Press release. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nov. 9, 2008.

Bad side-effects are usually linked to medications. When natural interventions produce side-effects, they are almost always beneficial. The best way to avoid negative side-effects is simply to avoid drugs if possible.

Better Sleep without Drugs

Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be an effective means of enhancing sleep quality. This therapy teaches clients how to deliberately structure habits and their environment to be optimally supportive of good sleep.

RESEARCH REPORT #1: Cognitive- behavioral therapy improved total sleep efficiency (percentage of time in bed asleep), wakefulness after sleep onset, and subjective quality of sleep compared to muscle relaxation and a placebo group. Cognitive-behavioral therapy was judged to be an effective method for sleep enhancement.

A copy of the original publication can be found here:

Obtain Paper Here

The formal publication reference for this paper is:

Edinger, J.D., Wohlgemuth, W.K., Radtke, R.A., Marsh, G.R., and Quillian, R.E. (2001). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treatment of Chronic Primary Insomnia: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(14):1856-1864.

Unpublished work on thermal biofeedback shows that hand warming reduces insomnia. This finding was reported by ABC News and other news outlets across America.

Warm Your Way to Sleep

Research in progress at Weill Cornell Medical College indicates that thermal biofeedback can reduce the time for people to fall asleep, sometimes dramatically. This research is still in progress, but preliminary results suggest hand warming is a very promising alternative to drugs.

This news report, filed by Jovana Lara, can be found by clicking the link below:

Find News Report Here

The formal publication reference for this paper is:

KABC-TV. (2008) Can't sleep? Try warming your hands. Healthy Living. Press release. Los Angeles, CA.

A more powerful alternative for decreasing insomnia is SMR (sensory motor rhythm) neurofeedback. During early stages of sleep, bursts of SMR brain waves (12-14 Hz) interrupt the slower, sleepy rhythms. Deliberately training SMR during waking hours appears to enhance this tendency and create better sleep as noted below:

RESEARCH REPORT #2: Ten sessions of wakeful SMR training increased expression of these spindles during sleep. This was accompanied by a significant reduction in the time is took subjects to fall asleep. Training also improved subsequent declarative memory learning.

This paper is in press and not yet available either as an abstract or in its entirety. Once published, the appropriate link will be referenced below:

Not Yet Available

The formal publication reference for this paper will be:

Hoedlmoser, K.; Pecherstorfer, T.; Gruber, G.; Anderer, P.; Doppelmayr, M.; Klimesch, W.; and Schabus, M. (2008). Instrumental Conditioning of Human Sensorimotor Rhythm (12-15 Hz) and Its Impact on Sleep as Well as Declarative Learning. Sleep, 31(10), 1401-1408.

Though the published version of the above study is not yet available, the SMR training procedure is. In fact, though still a secret to many, it has been around for almost 40 years.

For information on how to produce more SMR spindles in your life, call (714) 985-4700 now to schedule a FREE phone consultation.

For more information about neurofeedback, click on the link below:

More Information on Neurofeedback