Our 24/7 society seems to be slowly robbing us of our slumber, but at what cost? Sleep expert, professor of neuroscience and author of Why we sleep Dr Matthew Walker explores all the ways sleep can… Open at source
Dreaming is the only time when our brain is completely devoid of the stress-related molecule called noradrenaline (the sister chemical of adrenaline). At the same time, key emotional- and memory-related structures of the brain are reactivated during REM sleep as we dream. During the act of dreaming, we are therefore able to reactivate emotional memories in a brain that’s free of this key stress chemical. As a result, we get the chance to re-process upsetting memories in a safer, calmer environment.
The longer that you are awake, the more it builds up and the sleepier you feel. When concentrations of adenosine peak after 12 to 16 hours of being awake, a strong urge for sleep takes hold of most of us.
Eli Joseph Cossman delightfully noted, “the best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep”.