Sleep. Are you getting enough?

Sleep was once described to me as just like a meeting of your own Board of Directors. Every night a bunch of very important stakeholders get together to conduct Business. These stakeholders are primarily: Zinc, Magnesium, B Vitamins, Adenosine, Melatonin, Serotonin, Dopamine, the list goes on. The agenda items consist of:

Physical repair and restore (including liver detoxification) and Cell growth

Immunity, Healing

Emotional healing

Memory consolidation and Learning

The first step is repair and restore and includes detoxification of the liver. Depending on how much alcohol, sugar, caffeine, trans fats, chemicals, stress and drugs are in your system, this step could take some time. Only when this step is complete, can the other steps take place. Cell growth and immunity come in as the next critical items, followed by healing, including emotional health and memory consolidation. This is where your dreams come in. Finally, learning. This is the ‘filing cabinet’ of your subconscious, where your mind works out what it needs to know and gathers the information you need so you can draw upon it easily.

To help things along, the Board allocates Dopamine and Serotonin as the ‘time keepers’. Dopamine is like a bus. It comes along at about 10pm as per your body’s natural circadian rhythm and hangs around for a short time to help you fall asleep. If you do not ‘catch the bus’, Serotonin jumps in to help keep you awake. This explains why you might feel tired around 10pm then suddenly awake at midnight. Dopamine will try again a few times but will eventually drop off at 6am and allow Serotonin to wake you up for the day. Once Serotonin kicks in, the Board adjourns for the night. Unaddressed agenda items remain unaddressed. If everything has gone well, the Board should just be winding up some Learning items which will mean you wake up feeling quite refreshed. If not, you will wake up feeling groggy, as if you could do with more sleep. That’s because you really could! There are still a lot of things to do!

To ensure the Board can address all their items and to give yourself the best chance, keep alcohol, sugar and other chemicals to a minimum, and don’t forget to catch the Dopamine bus!

Sweet dreams!