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Sleep and Brain Health

The Importance of Sleep for Brain Health

Quality sleep is vital for brain health. And unfortunately, too many people aren’t getting enough sleep these days — and even if they’re sleeping many hours, they’re not sleeping well during that time. According to the Sleep Foundation, almost half of all Americans reported feeling sleepy during the day from three to seven days a week. And the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that between 11% and 50% of adults have chronic insomnia.

Dr. Matthew Walker, neuroscientist, and author of the acclaimed book, Why We Sleep, has laid out many ways in which sleep deprivation harms the brain and body. Here are just a few:

  • A lack of sleep will prevent the brain from making new memories or remembering what it learns.
  • After just one night of four to five hours of sleep, you have a 70% reduction in critical cancer-fighting immune cells.
  • Lack of sleep leads to increased development of beta-amyloid, a toxic protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • After you’ve been awake for 19 or 20 hours, your mental capacity is equivalent to being legally drunk behind the wheel of a car.
  • If you’re getting six hours of sleep or less a night, you have a 200% increased risk of having a fatal heart attack or stroke in your lifetime.

So, how can you improve your sleep? Lifestyle choices are crucial. However, medical conditions can also contribute to sleep issues. In fact, people who deal with depression, anxiety, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other brain conditions list sleep problems as one of the major symptoms.

That’s one of the reasons MeRT treatment is such a breakthrough: Not only can MeRT help with brain dysfunction, but it can also help improve both sleep quality and duration.*




CALL US: 480.588.7787

Better Sleep from MeRT Treatment at MVP Medical Care in Scottsdale

MeRT (Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy) is a non-invasive, drug-free, effective treatment for a wide variety of neurological conditions. In essence, MeRT uses magnetic waves to balance and stimulate brain function, guided by sophisticated diagnostics and imaging.

We first conduct in-depth testing of a patient’s brain using a qEEG (brain mapping technology), so we can see exactly where the brain may not be functioning or communicating as it should. Then, based on the results of the qEEG, we customize a treatment for each patient to improve brain function and thereby reduce symptoms associated with the brain disorder.

As to that symptom reduction, one of the major benefits that patients first notice after MeRT treatment is the ability to sleep longer and better.* And quality sleep is vital for continued brain health.

Hear it from an MVP Medical Care Patient Suffering from Insomnia:

I have just recently wrapped up a six-week MERT program and can’t speak highly enough about the program and technology. After five to six years of dealing with chronic autoimmune disease, my sleep and energy had both taken a steep dive. I was unable to sleep consistently or restfully on a night-to-night basis, often waking up 15+ times a night. This led to an inability to stay focused during the day, poor critical thinking, and also some anxiety. After my MERT treatment, I have finally started getting deep, uninterrupted sleep during the night. My thinking has greatly improved, and my mood has stabilized. As a pleasant bonus, everyone with the practice is very helpful and welcoming! I plan on returning to the MERT program very soon.” – Eliot B.

To learn more about MeRT treatment, please visit our What is MeRT? page. And to read about more results from this breakthrough treatment, please visit our Testimonials page.

How to Improve Your Sleep and Your Brain Health

Patients who see us for brain treatment most often also have sleep problems, which MeRT can certainly improve. Essentially, once the brain establishes a behavioral pattern, it will fire neurotransmitters to continue that pattern — and MeRT can help change those brainwave patterns and thereby modify behaviors.

However, you also need to know how to keep your brain healthy by establishing new habits and behaviors which will improve your sleep.

Sleep and Your Circadian Rhythm

Your circadian rhythm is the natural process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle and repeats approximately every 24 hours. Therefore, it’s vital to align your circadian rhythm to optimize your sleep. And two hormones that can throw off this rhythm are melatonin and cortisol: Without proper melatonin production, you won’t be able to get to sleep or stay asleep. That’s also the case if you’re producing too much cortisol (stress hormone). Here are a few ways to regulate your melanin and cortisol production:

  • Expose your eyes to direct sunlight first thing in the morning for at least 20 minutes — without sunglasses on. This action resets your pineal gland, which makes melatonin and regulates your circadian rhythms.
  • Blue light (like the light from digital devices) inhibits the release of melatonin at night. Reduce your blue light exposure by unplugging from your devices one to two hours before bed.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This will help regulate your circadian rhythm.
  • Another way to help with your circadian rhythm is to use blackout curtains and a sleep mask to make the room as dark as possible.
  • Try to exercise earlier in the day, as exercising too close to bedtime can raise your cortisol levels and prevent you from sleeping.

Additional Changes You Can Make

  • Try not to eat a heavy meal close to bedtime and eat your last meal three hours before going to bed.
  • Eat a cleaner diet and improve your gut health. The gut microbiome, also called the “second brain,” directly affects the brain and body functioning.
  • Alcohol can interfere with your sleep cycles and prevent you from getting quality sleep, so avoid excessive alcohol use.
  • Monitor your caffeine, and don’t drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages too late in the day.
  • Try a calming app if you can’t slow down your thoughts when your head hits the pillow. You can also meditate or try some deep breathing exercises.
  • Turn down the thermostat. The optimal temperature for quality sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • MeRT treatment can improve sleep quality and duration, with long-lasting results.*

*Results vary from person to person and are not guaranteed. 

Your Brain and the Sleep Cycle

Your sleep cycle is when your body and brain restore and regenerate themselves. And if you don’t have healthy sleep cycles, you won’t get the quality of sleep you need to function optimally.

You go through several rounds of cycles when you sleep, and each sleep cycle comprises five stages. Each stage is important, as critical changes occur at every stage. It’s not just about REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep — even though you may have heard more about this stage than any other. In fact, there are four other stages, and the deep sleep stage (stage 4) is crucial to your brain health and overall health.

Stages of the Sleep Cycle

Stage 1: A light sleep state, when you first begin to fall asleep. Here, your brain activity starts slowing down, but you’re aware of your surroundings and can be easily awakened.

Stage 2: This is a full sleep state, where your body temperature lowers, and your heart rate and brainwaves continue to slow down.

Stage 3: A moderate to deep sleep stage. This is when your brainwaves start to really slow down, and where you get low-frequency delta waves.

Stage 4: This deep sleep stage is most important for healing and restoration. Your brain is in a delta wave pattern and can therefore detoxify and repair itself. During this stage, the brain releases human growth hormone, which helps with cell growth, reproduction, and regeneration.

Stage 5: This is called the REM sleep stage, or the dreaming stage, which stimulates the sections of the brain needed for memory and learning. The eyes move rapidly behind the lids, and breathing is shallow and rapid.

After about 10 minutes of REM sleep, the brain cycles back through the non-REM sleep stages (1-4). And while sleep cycles typically average 90 minutes, they’re not all the same length. You spend less time in REM sleep and more time in deep sleep during the earlier part of the night. And the opposite occurs closer to the time you wake up, where deep sleep is shorter, and REM sleep longer.

Contact Our New Patient Coordinator for More Information

Since MeRT is a relatively new treatment, we understand you may not be sure if this is right for you. And that’s completely okay. After all, you need to get all the information necessary to make the right decision for your health.

In order to get that information, your first step is a simple, no-obligation phone consultation with our New Patient Coordinator. During this consultation, you can discuss your symptoms and history, ask all the questions you want, and have her explain the protocols, fees, and treatment details.

Our goal is simply this: to help guide you through the healing process, so you achieve all the remarkable results MeRT offers. In fact, many clinicians and technicians employed by various clinics that offer MeRT have gone through treatment protocols themselves. They know first-hand what the treatment can do and want you to heal as they have.

So, take a few minutes and talk to our New Patient Coordinator. She is here for you and truly wants to help.






For more information or to speak with our New Patient Coordinator, please fill in the information below.

Absolute Contraindications

Absolute contraindications for cortical MeRT treatment: Pacemaker, Defibrillator, Vagal Nerve Stimulator, VP Shunt/ Magnetic intracranial shunts, Deep Brain Stimulator, Epidural Cortical stimulator, Steel shunts/stents, Cranial metal fragments (i.e. shrapnel, excluding titanium), Cochlear implant, Aneurysm clips, coils, pipelines flow diversion, Pregnant or breastfeeding, Primary brain cancer / metastatic legions in brain (unless palliative care), Magnetic dental implants, Implanted cardio-verter defibrillators (ICD), Ocular implants.

Relative Contraindications

Relative contraindications require closer protocol attention and may or may not disqualify someone from receiving cortical MeRT treatment, depending on the doctor’s discretion and the person’s individual condition. These include:: History of Seizure or seizure disorder, Titanium shunts/stents, Spinal Cord Stimulator, Hearing aids, Ferrous cortical implants, Magnetic ink tattoo, Bipolar Disorder Type I/II, Baha Implant.

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