Waking Up and Falling Asleep More Easily

8 November, 2012 (19:38) | ADD and ADHD, sleep

Many people find that neurofeedback helps them to get a better night’s sleep. Maybe they actually come for neurofeedback brain training because they struggle with concentration or organization, or even pain or balance or hearing. And then they find that their sleep has improved!

If you have sleep problems but you’re not ready to do neurofeedback brain training just yet, you might like to look at dawn simulation alarm clocks. These have a light that turns on gradually, over the course of half an hour or so, and helps you to wake up naturally. So you’re not wrenched from the depths of sleep in a cold sweat, wondering where on the planet you are, when your horrible alarm clock goes off.

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Living with Vampires – a Fantastic Book for Struggling Readers

20 August, 2010 (15:53) | book review, dyslexia, neurofeedback in real life

Living with Vampires by Jeremy Strong is a wonderful book published by Barrington Stoke. I discovered it when I was looking for something that would interest an 11-year-old who was struggling with reading and had come for neurofeedback brain training to help.

The point was to get an appealing book that a youngster could read during a neurofeedback session. I’d set up the training program so that nice sounds would play every time the child’s brain produced brainwaves that were expected to be helpful for reading. Their task was to keep the music going (by producing the brainwaves we wanted) and simultaneously read – if you like, they were able to use the music as a check that they really were activating their “reading brain”.

This book really got the youngster chuckling and turning the pages – reading with obvious understanding and filling me in on the story so far every few minutes.

This is what the story’s about.

Kevin’s parents are very unusual. And there’s a school disco coming up for parents and children. He really wants his mum and dad to be normal, just like the other parents, so that they won’t embarrass him at the disco. He’s especially concerned about impressing Miranda, who he has a massive crush on – even though she has big feet. How can he find a way to work on his parents and rescue the situation?

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How Does Neurofeedback Brain Training Transfer to Real Life? A Dyslexia Example

6 August, 2010 (17:32) | dyslexia, neurofeedback in real life

One of the questions people often ask is how neurofeedback brainwave training transfers to real life. So we’ll take learning to read better as an example.benchpress

First of all, though, let’s think about weight-training. You go to the gym, lift weights, and develop your muscles and core stability. How does that transfer to real life? Doing bench presses isn’t exactly an activity that most people are called on to do on a regular basis. But, with your new muscles, you can now lift all the boxes in the garage to get to that ancient board game you stored such a long time ago. Or pull the washing machine out of its slot to fish out the bill that’s just dropped down behind it.

If you train your brain with neurofeedback, you would expect similarly to transfer the results to real life. You don’t drive a racing car by brainwaves alone in real life (well, not often) as you might do in a neurofeedback brain training session, but you would expect that exercising your brain in this way would help you to focus or relax better, for example – if that was the aim of the particular brain training you’d done.

Sometimes people who find reading difficult come for neurofeedback training. Maybe they’ve had a diagnosis of dyslexia, maybe they just know that reading is hard.

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Neurofeedback for Attention and ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

3 August, 2010 (14:10) | ADD and ADHD, attention

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – is one of the most common conditions for which people come to get neurofeedback brain training.

Why? And how is the training helpful?

ADHD – and I include not-very-hyperactive ADD – often goes along with concentration problems. You have to pay attention at school, do maths homework, remember to drive to the post office before going to the supermarket, take an important document to a meeting. And somehow you don’t manage to do it. You feel sleepy, in a bit of a daze, even though you know the tasks are important and you want to do them. So what’s happening?

Well, if you look at the brainwaves produced by a neuro-typical brain – belonging to a person who has no problems with concentrating – you would usually see lots of nice busy reasonably-fast beta waves when they’re doing tasks like these. But if you look at the brain of someone who always finds it hard to concentrate, you would typically see lots of slow theta waves just at the point when they’re looking at the maths problem or setting off for the shops.

But theta waves are usually produced when you’re falling asleep! So you’re trying to concentrate and your brain goes sleepy!  

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Don’t Diss the Dys – or Why a Label Is Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

23 July, 2010 (16:11) | dyscalculia, dyslexia, dyspraxia

Many people who get neurofeedback training do so because they’ve been given a diagnosis of a condition that starts with a “Dys” – dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and so on.

They often feel a bit ambiguous about this label. After all, it carries the idea that something is “abnormal” or there’s a “difficulty” – with reading, writing, maths, hand-eye coordination. And of course, there is! But being labelled doesn’t make them feel particularly good about themselves.

On the other hand, though, it can give them a sense of relief – finally they have confirmation that they’re not lazy, stupid or crazy (by the way, one of my favourite books about ADHD), and also it means that there’s the beginning of a reason for why they’re experiencing the situations and behaviours they are.

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