As a regional lead for a global, professional services firm, being productive and assertive is something that Melissa had learned to do well over the years, even though her body wasn’t getting the rest it needed. Pain from scoliosis kept her up at night.
At age 33, she decided to undergo surgery to correct her scoliosis, hoping that the long-term reduction in pain associated with her condition would also help her achieve more restful sleep.
While the surgery was successful in correcting the curve in her spine, she still wasn’t able to sleep. That’s when Melissa sought the help of Amer Khan, M.D., a sleep disorders specialist with the Sutter Neuroscience Institute. Following a thorough evaluation, Dr. Khan identified that Melissa was hyper-alert and suffering from insomnia. He determined that she would be an ideal candidate for a new iRest insomnia program he was leading.
“First I was skeptical,” Melissa says. “I wasn’t sure if the program would actually help me after all these years. But I decided to keep an open mind and follow through with it because I knew my body needed it.”
The iRest program is based on the ancient meditative practice of Yoga Nidra, which simply and systematically helps induce deep relaxation by reducing the core symptoms of insomnia – physical, emotional, mental, and subconscious stress and tension.
“After a few of the sessions led by Dr. Khan I was able to start using some of the sensory tools during my bedtime routine,” Melissa says. “It wasn’t long before I went from averaging three hours of sleep each night to six. But even better than the sleep was my ability to better connect my brain with my body. After 33 years, I was finally able to find relief.”
Dr. Khan’s insomnia program consists of an office consultation, medication management, sleep testing as needed, sleep education and the iRest group medical visits. He suggests patients attend eight to 12 iRest group sessions, usually once or twice per week. Following that series, most patients have the tools they need to wean themselves off medications and begin a rewarding journey of restful sleep.