Psychiatrist Blog

Interrupted and Poor Sleep

woman having trouble getting sleep

Managing Interrupted and Poor Sleep

One of the most important things that a human being can have is a full restful sleep.  Have you noticed that during this pandemic our sleeping patterns have been disrupted?

I hear from our patients constantly how they wake up multiple times at night and that the quality of their sleep is poor or that they are experiencing nightmares.

I bet you would like to know why?

Transitions between sleep and wakefulness are regulated by complex neurobiological mechanisms, which ultimately can be delineated as a balance between two opponent processes–one promoting sleep and the other promoting wakefulness. 

Most humans require 7 to 9 hours of sleep under ideal circumstances, that is situations where the brain consciously or unconsciously feels safe.

If we revert back to primordial times, our ancestors were in a constant state of arousal, meaning that they had to keep a literal eye open to avoid being eaten by the predator outside the cave.

In our current times the predator is still outside, mainly the Wuhan virus and we as individuals who value their lives are unconsciously imitating those primal behaviors.

Our sleep is interrupted out of a survival mechanism which is unconscious in nature.  This creates nightmares and disrupted sleep.

By becoming aware of our irrational fears, we can then control the emotional content associated with poor sleep.

Take heart and be mindful, we are all in this together.

Questions about: Narcolepsy, Cataplexy, Sleep Paralysis, Hallucinations, Fragmented Sleep, Insomnia, Sleep Walking, Night Terrors, Restless leg Syndrome, Automatic Behaviors, Obstructive sleep apnea?

Give a call to our Orange County Psychiatric Hospital, we are here to help!


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