Sleep success!

maddietod

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My doctor prescribed a Fisher Wallace Stimulator, and I put off buying it because it costs almost $700. He said insurance covers it, but I haven't submitted it yet.

In one week I went from 5-6 wakings a night to 3. I just finished my second week, and last night and the night before I only woke up once. The strangest thing is that I've stopped having to pee in the middle of the night.

You use it twice a day for 20 minutes, the second time right before bed.
 
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Madietodd, I'm so happy for you. I know you've suffered with insomnia for a long time.

I had never heard of this device. I have an Alpha-Stim and have read of similar CES devices, but they don't use electrodes on the head.

Is it hard to place the electrodes accurately on the scalp? I just wonder if it matters if you place one a little off from where it's supposed to be.

I have an appt. with my sleep doctor tomorrow, and I'll ask him about it. I first rented an Alpha-Stim through him before I bought one. I have inconsistent results with it, but sometimes it works really well.

Dreambirdie, here's a link:

http://www.fisherwallace.com/
 

maddietod

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The placement of the electrodes is simple. They're 1-1/2 inches wide and a picture is provided. The only trick is remembering to get my thick hair wet enough for the sponges to conduct the current.

"...restores sleep and improves mood by using patented radio frequencies to gently stimulate the brain's production of serotonin, beta-endorphin and other key neurochemicals."

And you don't actually need a prescription from your doctor. They have a doctor you can contact who will prescribe it, if appropriate.
 

Sushi

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The placement of the electrodes is simple. They're 1-1/2 inches wide and a picture is provided. The only trick is remembering to get my thick hair wet enough for the sponges to conduct the current.

"...restores sleep and improves mood by using patented radio frequencies to gently stimulate the brain's production of serotonin, beta-endorphin and other key neurochemicals."

And you don't actually need a prescription from your doctor. They have a doctor you can contact who will prescribe it, if appropriate.

The Holosync CDs also help with this. I listen to it each night and it seems to make a difference. (watch out for their endless advertising though)

Best,
Sushi
 

Sparrowhawk

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Wow that's great it is working for you. I did try Alpha Stim and like you said it was kind of spotty -- definitely noticed an effect but I felt stimulated as often as I felt calmed by it. Sometimes it helped with pain applied topically.

Hip may be interested in this thread.
 

jeffrez

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Glad it's working, but jolting our delicate brains with electricity might not be the best way to go for most of us. Neurofeedback can probably provide the same benefits for many CFSers by adjusting what's out of whack without electroshocking our delicate neurologies with blasts of indiscriminate voltage/frequency. I've greatly improved my sleep over the last year or two with EEG NF from total 100% insomnia and requiring benzos, trazodone, the occasional seroquel, etc., to being able to sleep 8-10 hrs. with only 5-10mg melatonin. If I get stressed or have too much social interaction before bed and throw off my sleep cycle I sometimes have to "reset" myself with 0.125mg of benzo, some diphen, etc., but NF for the most part has fixed the worst of the insomnia. Hope I won't get jinxed now, lol.

Btw, just to add to that, I tried CES/Alpha-stim a few years ago. It actually sent my anxiety through the roof and *caused* insomnia. Why? Because I now know through NF assessment that I don't need alpha everywhere in my brain, only on the right side and in the occipital/parietal regions. Global alpha increase just exacerbated existing brainwave dysregulation. It's great to hear when something like the Fisher Wallace works for someone - I've definitely been curious to try it out myself, although still more than a little apprehensive - but for anyone who tries it, or alpha-stim/CES, etc. and doesn't get good results, it could just mean that's it's too much of a "shotgun" kind of approach and you need something gentler, like NF.
 

Sparrowhawk

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Glad it's working, but jolting our delicate brains with electricity might not be the best way to go for most of us. Neurofeedback can probably provide the same benefits for many CFSers by adjusting what's out of whack without electroshocking our delicate neurologies with blasts of indiscriminate voltage/frequency. I've greatly improved my sleep over the last year or two with EEG NF from total 100% insomnia and requiring benzos, trazodone, the occasional seroquel, etc., to being able to sleep 8-10 hrs. with only 5-10mg melatonin. If I get stressed or have too much social interaction before bed and throw off my sleep cycle I sometimes have to "reset" myself with 0.125mg of benzo, some diphen, etc., but NF for the most part has fixed the worst of the insomnia. Hope I won't get jinxed now, lol.

Btw, just to add to that, I tried CES/Alpha-stim a few years ago. It actually sent my anxiety through the roof and *caused* insomnia. Why? Because I now know through NF assessment that I don't need alpha everywhere in my brain, only on the right side and in the occipital/parietal regions. Global alpha increase just exacerbated existing brainwave dysregulation. It's great to hear when something like the Fisher Wallace works for someone - I've definitely been curious to try it out myself, although still more than a little apprehensive - but for anyone who tries it, or alpha-stim/CES, etc. and doesn't get good results, it could just mean that's it's too much of a "shotgun" kind of approach and you need something gentler, like NF.
I'm not following your abbreviation, could you say a few more words about what "EEG NF" is, is that a home use software or something? Thanks!
 

jeffrez

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EEG NF = EEG Neurofeedback. Hook electrodes up to your head, but instead of zapping your brain with electricity, it reads your brainwaves and provides feedback sounds/music/video, etc. so your brain can adjust itself on its own. Same principle as biofeedback, but for the brain instead of e.g., the heart rate, etc.
 

maddietod

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jeffrez, I don't think this is a alpha-wave generating machine. I don't do well with alpha wave entrainment either.

In my small amount of exploration, I haven't come across anybody who has had good & consistent results with Alpha Stim. This is not the same product.

I don't want to come across like an advertizement; I'm just sharing the only thing that's working for me, after 10+ years of insomnia. I've tried sleep meds, herbals, sleep CDs.......whatever. I hate that it costs $70 plus return postage for nothing if it fails, but I spent more than that on herbal remedies this year, that did nothing for me. I've actually spent more than that on copays for medicines that didn't work either....some kept me awake all night.

Those things HAVE worked for a lot of people here; I'm OK with how different we are. I've gotten a ton of ideas here of things to try, and I'm just excited to pay that back with an idea of my own.

EDIT: The FWS has 4 power levels, and most people use level 2. I'm getting overstimulated but not yet sleeping through the night; they said to use level 1 at night and let them know what happens.
 

Dreambirdie

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EEG NF = EEG Neurofeedback. Hook electrodes up to your head, but instead of zapping your brain with electricity, it reads your brainwaves and provides feedback sounds/music/video, etc. so your brain can adjust itself on its own. Same principle as biofeedback, but for the brain instead of e.g., the heart rate, etc.
Where do you get such a device?
 

jeffrez

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Brainwaves are simply electrical energy operating at frequencies of about 0Hz to 40Hz (roughly), and I think FWS is pumping in 15Hz, which is low beta range, which is the high end of the sensory motor range, possibly accounting for an increased bodily relaxation. But it sounds like there's more than just that going in, though I really have no idea how the thing actually works, lol. The overall point I was making was not really about the frequency per se, but about the fact that, whatever frequency (or frequencies) it's using, it's pumping that into the brain artificially, like ECS (electroconvulsive shock therapy), albeit on a much, much milder scale. Whereas with EEG neurofeedback, nothing is pumped into the brain at all, but instead your brainwaves are merely read by the equipment and then that information is fed back to the brain, so the brain can then make its own adjustments (e.g., raising alpha, lowering theta, or whatever you're trying to do).

Not that that might not have risks, too, but overloading a delicate CFS brain with outside electrical energy wouldn't be one of them. Although in some cases (like yours, apparently) it seems that artificially zapping the brain with whatever electrical energy the FWS uses has had a beneficial effect in correcting something, which is what makes it interesting to me. Maybe all of our CFS brains might need jolting, in other words, like to "wake up" the HPAA or break up some coherences that are keeping the CFS locked into place. There is a form of NF that I think some people have talked about here, called LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System, which aside from the neurofeedback aspect also shoots electricity directly into the scalp/brain), but reports of that w/CFS have been mixed at best, I think. But maybe whatever FWS does is sufficiently different from LENS that it could actually benefit a lot of people w/CFS. It would interesting to have more reports of this with CFS.
 

Dreambirdie

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EDIT: The FWS has 4 power levels, and most people use level 2. I'm getting overstimulated but not yet sleeping through the night; they said to use level 1 at night and let them know what happens.
Is that a typo... or are you really getting overstimulated? If so, then how can it help your sleep?

I am curious to try this, but not if it's overstimulating.
 

maddietod

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I started having trouble getting to sleep, which is unusual for me. I switched to level 1 at night, an hour before bed, and I'm waking twice a night but the second waking is long. I had no trouble getting to sleep.

Tonight I'm going to try level 2 both times (am, pm), but still use it an hour before sleep.