Insomnia and Our Biological Clock

Insomnia goes by the person’s own report and is about how people function during the day and how people perceive their sleep. When we wake up feeling physically refreshed and in a reasonably good mood we have accomplished enough sleep. Most of us need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, an average amount of 8 hours, short sleepers need an average of 5.5 hours and very few are psychologically and physiologically healthy with only 5 hours on a regular basis.

If people report having difficulty to get to sleep, staying asleep throughout the night , or waking up too early without being able to get back to sleep and this is happening for two or more weeks we talk about insomnia.

Our sleep drive, which refers to the regulation of sleep debt and length of wakefulness, is constantly at work. From the moment we wake up this sleep drive intensifies throughout the day and our activities will enhance this sleep drive.

Our biological clock is at the heart of the circadian, our awake system which determines our readiness for sleep and awakening. This internal biological clock gets stimulated by the most important essential for optimal sleep the morning light.

Therefore one of the most important habits to conduct good sleep is having a set time to get up every morning. Morning sunlight/ daylight will stimulate serotonin, suspension of melatonin and reset the biological clock to be ready to sleep about 16 hours later.

Rita Mueller MA. LLP

has a practice at Birmingham Maple Clinic and is specializing in insomnia and sleep disorders.

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