Expert’s Corner: What is Insomnia – its effects and safe cure

Dr. Lise McCann Falcone

Dr. Lise McCann Falcone

Insomnia is defined as having difficulty falling asleep, waking up too early and not being able to get back to sleep.  Frequent awakenings, waking up not feeling refreshed. Basically if you have difficulty in initiating and/or maintaining sleep you probably have insomnia.

The effects of sleep deprivation are cumulative and have a profound effect on memory, learning, reasoning, reaction time and the ability to focus.  While sleep requirements vary slightly most healthy adults need 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.


Experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities you haven’t had enough sleep.  Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt” and eventually your body will demand that the debt be repaid.

It is estimated over a two week period missing out on the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep adds up to two full nights of sleep debt.  If you only average four hours a night your brain reacts as though you haven’t slept in three consecutive nights.  The most worrisome part is many people are too tired to realize how sleep deprived they are, but they have a slower reaction time and weaker memory.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates conservatively that drowsy driving is responsible for 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities a year.

Several major disasters have been linked in part with two little sleep in the workplace: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez.  Being sleep deprived is just as dangerous as drunk drivers.  In one study, people who drove after being awake 17 to 19 hours performed worse than those who had a blood alcohol level of .05%, .08% is considered intoxicated in most states.

Health risks and symptoms that are linked to insomnia are: High Blood Pressure, Heart Attack and or Failure, Stroke, Obesity, Psychiatric problems including depression and other mood disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain.

There are five cycles of sleep we must get through five times a night.  This is important because in deep sleep Delta brainwave is produced, we must produce this brainwave for Serotonin to be produced which inhibits pain also Human Growth Hormone for cellular repair.  Two hormones that must be balanced for proper weight control is Lepton and Ghrelin.  Lepton tells us when we are full and Ghrelin Stimulates appetite.  When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives Lepton levels down, which means you don’t feel satisfied after you eat and it increases Ghrelin levels stimulating your appetite so you want more food.  The two combined can set the stage for overeating, which in turn may lead to weight gain.

Sleep disorders always accompany Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia.  This is because when we don’t reach deep sleep we don’t produce Serotonin and Human Growth Hormone (HGH).  Serotonin quiets the nerves that are hyperactive in Fibromyalgia and HGH is needed for healing the body.

Knowing this it’s easy to see why sleep is vital for good health.  Restoring proper sleep patterns are key to many health disorders and reducing pain and anxiety and weight issues.

To explain how brainwaves control different states of mental awareness it’s important to understand what the different brainwaves do.  I have already explained Delta, which is produced in the third and fourth stage of sleep which is “deep sleep” or restorative sleep.  Theta is prominent in twilight sleep and is produced when you are just about to fall asleep and is associated with creativity and memory retrieval.  This is why you seem to get the best ideas as you are falling asleep.

Alpha brainwave is associated with meditation and a sense of inner peace described by some as a quiet alertness and is also associated with the production of Acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is a nerve transmitter which regulates your sleep cycles.  If Alpha disregulates, Acetylcholine levels drop, sleep patterns dysregulate and symptoms of insomnia appear.

The goal of BrainCore Therapy is to increase Alpha brainwaves.  BrainCore Therapy is a Neurofeedback approach that teaches the patient how to regulate and balance their own brainwave.

Insomnia is one of the first symptoms to disappear after Neurofeedback.

The BrainCore approach is painless, drugless, noninvasive and has no side effects.  The best part of BrainCore Therapy is that the regulation and the changes experienced are permanent.

It has been demonstrated that after twenty or more BrainCore training sessions, the brain actually remodels itself, a process known as Neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to remodel itself.

For more information contact: McCann Chiropractic, 205A Highway 17 North, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29566. Phone 843-280-7533 [email protected]

Dr. Lise McCann Falcone is a Chiropractor in North Myrtle Beach, SC. Having practiced as a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician for the past 24 years (16 in Pa.), Dr. Falcone relocated in 2004 to the Myrtle Beach area. She has added BrainCore Therapy to her practice and is excited to offer it to her patients.


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2013-01-21T08:22:11+00:00 July 2nd, 2012|