Skip to content New Patient Offer $60

Wakefulness VS Sleepiness

An exhausted new Mom, a night-shift employee, a First Responder, or even a nine-to-fiver. It doesn’t matter your occupation or your day to day life, wakefulness and sleepiness are constantly getting overlapped and misunderstood. Understanding the difference between the two and learning how to keep them in check can tremendously help your mental and physical well being.
Your need for sleep is regulated by 2 key factors: your Circadian Rhythm and Adenosine levels. The Circadian Rhythm is your internal body clock that runs in an approximate 24-hour cycle. It’s regulated by melatonin, which is produced by the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the brain, which calibrates your body clock using the amount of light. Adenosine is a chemical that makes you sleepy. It builds up progressively when you’re awake and most people will feel “sleep pressure” after being awake for 12-18 hours. It decreases as you sleep and is usually purged fully after 8 hours of sleep.
Matthew Walker mentions in his book Why We Sleep that, “Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.” He continues by saying, “There is much that sleep can do that we in medicine currently cannot.” The biggest takeaway here is that we need to prioritize sleep, and not push it aside or abuse it. Dedicating the right amount of time to your sleep health helps boost both mental and physical health.
Here are 3 simple tips that you can apply straight away to start improving your sleep quality and quantity:

Use blackout curtains to keep your bedroom completely dark

Take a hot bath (or warm your hands/feet) before bed, to draw heat to the skin surface and reduce your core body temperature

Do not consume alcohol close to bedtime: it’s actually a sedative that disrupts REM sleep and causes you to wake up throughout the night.

Interested in reading more from Matthew Walker? Click HERE to order his book, Why We Sleep! If you have questions or concerns about your sleep patterns, or need more information on wakefulness vs. sleepiness, don’t forget to ask at your next adjustment. We are here for you!
-Dr. Nick

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.