How TMS Therapy Treats Insomnia
Sleep is necessary for human health and well-being. Sleep deprivation is on par with unhealthy eating habits or not drinking enough water. It's essential not just for a healthy lifestyle but also to function daily. It isn't just essential for the mind, but your body needs it as well.
Sleep deprivation can lead to various health concerns, including elevated blood sugar levels, liver difficulties, weight gain, and chronic depression. A stressed, restless night's sleep can also lead to issues such as teeth grinding and sleepwalking. That's why anyone with sleeping problems needs to find the most effective treatment for insomnia on the first chance they get.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or TMS for short, is among the safest and most fruitful approaches to treat sleeplessness. In this article, you’ll learn about the correlation between TMS therapy and insomnia, its benefits, procedures, and those who should avoid it.
Why Sleep Is So Important
Sleep is a necessary function helping the body and mind to replenish, allowing the person to wake up feeling refreshed and sharp. Good sleep also benefits the body's wellness and its defensive system. The average adult requires between 7-9 hours of sleep every 24 hours; with any less, the individual is inviting adverse side effects.
Work schedules, daily stress/worries, a noisy bedroom environment, and medical issues can make it difficult for people to fall asleep. Lack of sleep can have dire effects like difficulty concentrating, inability to think, and forgetting things.
Some studies have linked sleep deprivation to attention lapses, impaired cognition, delayed reactions, and mood swings. It's also been reported that continuous sleep deprivation can cause people to build a tolerance for it, which is worse than it sounds. Even if their brains and bodies are suffering because of lack of sleep, they may be unaware of their own shortcomings since, at that point, less sleep feels just normal to them.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to an increased risk of certain illnesses and medical disorders. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, mental health problems, and premature death.
Medication & Treatment for Insomnia
As mentioned previously, sleep issues, particularly when accompanied by depression, can reduce a patient's quality of life while simultaneously raising the risk of other mental problems, which may even result in suicidal thoughts. Choosing the proper medication to improve sleep quality can be tricky since, similar to depression, different pills and therapies trigger varied responses in individuals.
The two primary goals of treating chronic insomnia are to improve sleep quality and duration while also minimizing daytime impairments. A chronic insomnia treatment plan usually involves at least one behavioral intervention, most often cognitive behavioral therapy for sleeplessness (CBT-i), and an accompanying medical prescription, usually an antidepressant or a sleeping pill.
As it's common knowledge nowadays, sleeping pills and antidepressant drugs both can induce severe side effects, inducing many folks to stop taking them. These side effects include dizziness, diarrhea, sexual issues, fatigue, weight gain, and increased sweating.
TMS is a therapy option that can help patients avoid these negative consequences. The relationship between TMS therapy and insomnia has proven to be demonstratively effective, and you’ll soon find out why.
TMS stands for transcranial magnetic stimulation, a form of brain stimulation therapy. It's a non-invasive treatment stimulating nerve cells with electromagnetic pulses, helpful with neurological/mental health symptoms.
TMS used to be mainly employed in the treatment of depression. However, it has proven to be highly effective in treating other problems, such as insomnia, anxiety, and Parkinson's disease. It has also worked wonders in treating those who don't react to antidepressants or psychotherapy. TMS is also known as repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation because it involves repetitive electrical impulses (rTMS). Naturally, the terms are frequently interchangeable.
The procedure is also relatively straightforward. Patients are first instructed to remove any magnetic-sensitive objects before starting treatment, such as jewelry, credit cards during each TMS therapy session since electrical impulses could damage them.
TMS creates a loud clicking noise with each pulse, similar to an MRI machine; hence patients are recommended to wear earplugs throughout treatment for comfort and hearing protection. During the first TMS session, several measurements are taken to ensure the TMS coil is correctly positioned over the patient's skull. After that, the TMS coil is suspended above the patient's head. The TMS physician then utilizes a series of short pulses to determine the patient's neurological threshold.
The neurological threshold is the minimal amount of energy required to cause the patient's thumb to twitch, and it varies from person to person. The session begins once the motor threshold has been confirmed. Despite what many believe, the procedure doesn't hurt at all. Neither when the physician is determining the threshold nor when undergoing treatment.
Some benefits include:
- High rate of success in controlling Alzheimer's symptoms
- Non-invasive (therapy is carried out entirely outside of the body)
- Non-sedative (no sedation required & procedure is entirely painless)
- Little to no side effects (most cases are side effect free)
Why Choose TMS
TMS produces a clinically relevant response in approx. 50-60% of individuals with insomnia, having tried and failed to find relief from traditional medications. About a third of these folks go into complete remission, meaning their symptoms disappear entirely. It’s critical to recognize while these outcomes are positive, they are not permanent.
Like with most other therapies for insomnia, there is a significant rate of recurrence, especially if there is a mental issue involved. On the other hand, most TMS patients continue to feel better for months after treatment has ended, with the average response time being just over a year. Some people will even choose to return for more treatments.
In a study, 120 patients with persistent primary insomnia were provided with TMS, estazolam 2 mg, and cognitive-behavioral treatment, including sleep education programs, mindfulness training, stimulus control therapy, sleep restriction therapy, and cognitive therapy. The research concluded: “TMS treatment is more effective than both traditional medication and psychotherapy treatment in enhancing sleep cycle and architecture. Furthermore, TMS reduced the level of body awakening and provided greater long-term therapeutic effects as well."
Moreover, research has indicated that individuals less resistant to treatment respond better to TMS than others. However, there’s still a lot left to understand about specific variables that may influence TMS response. Clinical trials are currently being conducted to determine who benefits the most from TMS therapy.
Who Should Avoid TMS
TMS is thought to be safe, but it isn't for everyone. you should avoid this procedure if you have metal in your skull, such as:
- Electrodes in the neck, brain stents, nervous system stimulators
- Coils or aneurysm clips
- Bullet fragments or shrapnel
- Metal plates & metallic ink face tattoos
- Implanted cochlea
- Permanent piercings
TMS's magnetic fields can cause metal implants to heat up or shift, resulting in significant damage to the patient’s physical health. However, braces or tooth fillings are safe, and you can still have the therapy. You should also avoid TMS if you have a history of epilepsy or seizures, as magnetic pulses act as stimulants on those with a medical condition (making seizures more likely).
TMS works by reducing nerve cell activity in the brain and works wonders for those seeking effective treatments for insomnia. However, TMS therapy and insomnia aren't the only magical pair in the therapy world. TMS also benefits patients who have conditions such as OCD, anxiety, and PTSD. The technique can even aid with motor dysfunction, making it a practical treatment approach for Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and stroke recovery.
We know how difficult it has become to find credible doctors and therapy centers you can trust your mental and physical health with, and that knowledge is the very reason Los Angeles Therapy Institute has brought forward a safe environment focused on compassionate and professional care for patients in LA. Please Contact us now if you believe TMS can help you or if you have any questions about this approach. Our dedicated technicians are awaiting your call.