Everyone has experienced the fatigue of not enough sleep at some point. Sometimes it’s a chronic problem because of ongoing illness, anxiety, or congestion. Other times it’s an all-nighter, and there’s that almost delirious second-wave of energy the next day. You know you need sleep, but you may not realize how your brain hurts itself when you’re not getting it.

There’s plenty of research on how the brain and body function when you don’t sleep enough: you aren’t fit to drive, your work quality suffers, memory, alertness, and reflexes all dip, and you’re putting stress on your heart. This new research is looking more precisely at how your brain is (not so well) functioning without sleep.

During a good night’s rest, liquid expands and then shrinks your brain, washing away the toxic leftovers of a day of thinking. Dreaming may, at least in part, be a result of some of these leftover thoughts firing again as they get cleaned out.

Without sleep, your brain still tries to clean house, but it does way too much and grabs the wrong things. The results look the same as was researchers see in early dementia, and overtime may lead to memory loss and other problems.

So make sure to take action against insomnia. Set the stage: get rid of distracting lights and noise, avoid alcohol and caffeine, get some exercise in your day, and adopt a meditative routine to crowd out intrusive thoughts (counting sheep is an example, but you can do anything that works for you).

For a little more help, try a natural sleep aid with our Sleep Support Pack. It combines the minerals your body needs to function properly as it performs nightly maintenance with herbs and nutrients that support natural sleep.

What are your thoughts on sleep?


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