Tag Archives: insomnia

A View from the Trenches: Why Psychiatry needs CES – Part 3

Depression

There is considerable controversy involving the efficacy of antidepressant medications.
The controversy also involves the risk/benefit analyses of currently approved interventions For example, Time magazine recently cited Kirsch’s meta-analysis in PLoS Medicine that found little benefit of antidepressants for most patients as well as Dr. John Krystal’s findings that about 25% of patients did worse on antidepressants than on placebo”.

ces-treats-depression

There are also many non-pharmacologic interventions for reducing anxiety. Some of these include dietary supplements, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and exercise. These interventions, however, are not employed by a large segment of society that suffers from anxiety.

These persons instead seek medication from their physician to alleviate their suffering. Typical classes of medications for anxiety include the SSRI’s, benzodiazepines as well as the off label use of antihistamines and atypical antipsychotic medications and antiepileptic medications.

In addition to the inherent problems with SSRI’s, there are also serious problems with the other classes of medications. A serious side effect of benzodiazepines includes their potential for inducing physical and psychological dependence. In addition, withdrawal symptoms can prove life threatening, especially with the shorter acting benzodiazepines like alprazolam. When taken as directed, which is often not the case; this class can result in compromised coordination and slowed reaction, falls, disinhibition, delirium, and anterograde amnesia.

It is not uncommon to see suicide attempts using a combination of a benzodiazepine together with alcohol and/or another sedative hypnotic. While buspirone is relatively well tolerated, it has poor efficacy for many anxiety disorders and 3 to 4 week lag time to effect often leads to premature discontinuation.

Medications such as gabapentin are used off label for anxiety disorders but there is no research to support its efficacy. Unfortunately, physicians have begun using the atypical antipsychotic medications to treat anxiety. This class of medications has a large and increasing number of very serious side effects. Recent attention has been focused on their causing metabolic syndrome.

They frequently cause extra pyramidal side effects, sedation, elevated prolactin levels and drug/drug interactions. All of these medications should be avoided during pregnancy and used with caution in the elderly. In short, the side effect profile of current pharmacologic treatments for anxiety limits their safe use. CES is a safe, initial alternative to such medications.

Insomnia
Many patients benefit from improving sleep hygiene as a treatment for insomnia. Others may improve using a sleep phase changes or treating the underlying problem such as sleep apnea, medical conditions, alcohol abuse, etc.

ces-treats-insomnia

For many others, recent pharmacologic treatments prove effective and have minimal side effects. Targeting melatonin receptors is a novel and promising approach. For many persons, however, existing treatments are ineffective, too expensive, result in side effects or conflict with their desire to avoid medications.

Some side effects from medications are very disturbing, such as sleep associated behaviors that result in harm to self or others. For others, there is morning sedation, drug/drug interactions or rebound insomnia. When behavioral interventions are not effective, CES could be considered prior to initiating medications.

By Jason Worchel, M.D., a noted psychiatrist and Director of the Hilo Mental Health Center in Hilo, HI. This post is from a paper written by Dr. Worchel in his testimony before the F.D.A. concerning the effectiveness and safety of CES from the perspective of a practicing psychiatrist.

A View from the Trenches: Why Psychiatry needs CES – Part 4

CES vs. Drugs

I would like to highlight various advantages of CES relative to other existing treatments, especially medications that may not be well appreciated. Take for example, the difficulty faced by primary care physicians and mental health professionals in treating female patients of child bearing age. All available medications have teratogenic risk and are not recommended during pregnancy and breast feeding. Patients desiring to become pregnant have justified concerns about taking psychotropic medication

Current treatment algorithms encourage polypharmacy when initial treatments with a single drug are not effective. While there is some increased response, polypharmacy only increases the side effects burden and can result in untoward drug/drug interactions. These types of problems do not occur with CES.

ces-no-drugs

Many psychotropic medications for the treatments of depression, anxiety and insomnia have discontinuation syndromes. Given the high rate of discontinuation of these medications by patients due to side effects and lack of efficacy, many patients unfortunately suffer when the take a medication prescribed to alleviate their suffering. This does not occur with CES. There are circumstances, for example prior to surgery, when certain psychotropic medications are required to be discontinued. CES does not have to be discontinued prior to surgery.

One my greatest concerns in treating patients with depression, anxiety and insomnia involves suicide. We know increased risk of suicide in depressed patients but it is often global insomnia is a significant risk factor for suicide as well as anxiety/agitation. Although safer than the older tricyclic and tetracylcic antidepressants, the current medications carry a significant risk of death in overdose, especially when combined with other analgesic medications. Too often, the medications we prescribed to prevent suicide become a means through which the patient attempts suicide. In fact, there are black box warnings that these medications may increase suicidal impulses, especially in adolescents. CES does not pose this risk.

As in many developed countries, we are an aging population. The treatment of depression, anxiety and insomnia in the geriatric patients with medications present unique challenges due to the increased risk of adverse side effects. These side effects include the risk of falls and motor vehicle accidents.

Again, the number of medications taken in our geriatric patients continues to increase. Thus risk of adding psychotropic medications to their other medications poses additional drug/drug interactions and side effect burden. CES avoids this disadvantage and provides a safe alternative to patients, their families and care givers. Furthermore, missing a CES treatment does not carry the risks of missing doses of psychotropic medications in this population.

I have worked with primary care physicians in our federally qualified health clinics on the Big Island. They, like others across the country, are stymied and frustrated by the challenge of treating chronic pain. In particular, they face patients with bona fide pain but who also have depression, anxiety, insomnia and substance abuse. With regards to treatment interventions, they are damned if the do and damned if the don’t treatment with various classes of analgesic medications, including narcotic medications.

They are particularly afraid of the increasing fatalities occurring with the use of narcotic analgesic medications in combination with benzodiazepines and antidepressant medications. They welcome alternatives to medications for those patients whose emotional distress intensifies their suffering and pain sensation. CES could provide a safe alternative for them that do not currently exist.

In summary, CES represents as safe intervention for conditions for which existing treatments, especially pharmacologic and invasive interventions pose significant risk for adverse side effects. It is especially beneficial in defined populations. These include those who refuse medications and psychotherapy, dual diagnosed patients, geriatric patients, females of child bearing age and during pregnancy.

By Jason Worchel, M.D. is a noted psychiatrist and Director of the Hilo Mental Health Center in Hilo, HI. This post is from a paper written by Dr. Worchel in his testimony before the F.D.A. concerning the effectiveness and safety of CES from the perspective of a practicing psychiatrist.

Why medicating is a temporary fix for poor sleep and how CES can help me sleep better

Have you already tried many of the standard pharmaceutical methods known to western medicine to re-establish normal sleeping patterns without success?

cesultra-no-more-pills

Have you found yourself asking:

  • How come my medications no longer help me sleep, or help me go to sleep?
  • What can I use to help me get to sleep without the danger of serious side effects?
  • What can I use besides drugs to help me sleep better? (The Big Question)

If so you are not alone: Pharmaceutical drugs do not treat the causes of poor sleep, only the symptoms. Often making the initial causes worsen over time.

The reasons this occurs are simple, and can be debilitating

Falling out of a healthy sleep pattern happens slowly. The brain works from habit, striving to maintain that which would be considered “the neuro-chemical norm” for us as individuals. Maintaining a healthy balance for our overall well being is the brains number one assignment. It takes time for the brain to form new habits. Adding pharmaceuticals to the mix begins creating a new habit for the brain. The brain will cease to make the natural chemistry that is being replaced by that of the drugs. Read Report

Over time the brain becomes accustom to not making or even calling out for the making of the “replaced” neuro-chemicals. Leaving an individual depleted of that which would be normal for the brain to manufacture, and reliant on the drugs being ingested. Having this “new habit” fully in place things begin to deteriorate further as one develops a higher tolerance for the medications. Requiring a higher dose with continued use, eventually the dosage needed for the desired effect will exceed what is considered safe for ingestion. At which point continual use no longer has positive effect.

HENCE: My medications no longer help me sleep, or even help me go to sleep
Remember “The Big Question”?
What Can I Use Besides Drugs To Help Me Sleep Better?

The Answer: Cranial Electro Therapy Stimulation (CES) Treats the Causes of Poor Sleep Rather than the Symptoms!!

  • CES uses the natural processes of the brain to reset an individual’s sleep clock (link to ces and insomnia page under cesultra tab)
  • There are no known serious side effects from the use of CES.
  • CES re-adjusts the natural neuro-chemical output of the brain without the addition of outside harmful chemicals.
  • CES relieves the stress caused by sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression.


CES has been available for clinical use since the 1950’s and was invented in Russia. Originally CES was referred to as “electrosleep”.

CES uses a gentle electrical impulse applied to the ear lobes which is anatomically transferred to the brain. The tendency is for the frequency to cause the brain to release the neuro-chemistry needed for healthy sleep. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows the medical claims of “insomnia, anxiety, and depression” for CES use. Anxiety and depression are two common triggers of insomnia or sleep problems in general. Depression and anxiety will begin to cause sleep problems in people who haven’t previously experienced difficulties with sleep. A vicious cycle will often begin to take place in individuals whereby: the more anxious a person becomes the more they suffer from sleep disorders; the more one suffers from sleep disorder the more anxious one becomes, and on and on. The same is true of those who suffer from depression.

By using the natural processes of the brain to reset levels of normal neuro-chemicals in the brain CES causes a “new and healthy habit” for the brain to fall back into. In general end users report a substantial decline in sleep problems within 2 weeks of daily use. Read CES Experience.

Take Control: Reset Your Sleep Clock With The CES Ultra

Portable Affordable, and Easy To Use

  • Hand held unit designed to be used at home.
  • Use while reading, watching television or, just relaxing at your computer
  • A fraction of the cost of Doctors visits and prescription drugs ($349.00 U.S.D)
  • The human system was not designed to deal with the daily stresses of our modern existence. 10,000 years ago our toughest decisions were along the lines of: Do I want to eat nuts or berries for lunch, and should I take a nap now or later. The daily demands that we put on our selves have changed far faster than what the normal course of evolution has been able to keep up with. It is no wonder that we find ourselves felling stressed out and overloaded as often as we do. The CES Ultra is a safe, natural and convenient way to dial down your stress by redeveloping a healthy sleep cycle…

    SWEET DREAMS

How to Optimize Your Sleep

Dr. Mercola’s top guidelines for promoting good sleep.

  1. Avoid watching TV or using your computer at night—or at least about an hour or so before going to bed—as these technologies can have a significantly detrimental impact on your sleep. TV and computer screens emit blue light; nearly identical to the light you’re exposed to outdoors during the day. This tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, thereby shutting down melatonin secretion.

Under normal circumstances, your brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 or 10 pm, which makes you sleepy. When this natural secretion cycle is disrupted, due to excessive light exposure after sunset, insomnia can ensue.

  1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the slightest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. So close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio.

Make sure to cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes.

  1. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep. This is because when you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.
  2. Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime. This increases your core body temperature, and when you get out of the bath it abruptly drops, signaling your body that you are ready for sleep.
  3. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can disrupt your pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to shut down all power in your house.
  4. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least three feet. This serves at least two functions. First, it can be stressful to see the time when you can’t fall asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night. Secondly, the glow from a clock radio can be enough to suppress melatonin production and interfere with your sleep. Cell phones, cordless phones and their charging stations should ideally be kept three rooms away from your bedroom to prevent harmful EMFs.

Sleeping Well Is Part of a Healthy Lifestyle Plan

Find how Sleep Better With CES Ultra

There’s convincing evidence showing that if you do not sleep enough, you’re really jeopardizing your health. Everybody loses sleep here and there, and your body can adjust for temporary shortcomings. But if you develop a chronic pattern of sleeping less than five or six hours a night, then you’re increasing your risk of a number of health conditions, including weakening your immune system and increasing your risk of degenerative brain disorders. If you’re feeling anxious or restless, try using the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which can help you address any emotional issues that might keep you tossing and turning at night.

Several months ago I suffered with severe insomnia

“Several months ago I suffered with severe insomnia. I couldn’t get more than 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night, and sometimes I couldn’t sleep at all. I tried all kinds of sleep medications and supplements without success. I saw a neurologist who specializes in sleep problems but she was of little help. I did some research on the internet and came across studies with CES. I decided to buy a CES Ultra.. Within 2 weeks I was able to get 7 hours of sleep a night. I used it every day for two months and during that time I had no insomnia. Now I find that using it 2 or 3 times a week is sufficient for me to get a good night’s sleep.”
Ray W. (NV)

 

Love it when I get this call, sweet dreams Ray… Michael Stevens V.P. Neuro Fitness