A New Discovery about the link between Stress, Sleep and Healing

A New Discovery about the link between Stress, Sleep and Healing

If a client is struggling with several chronic conditions where their problems are growing, I often find out that they aren’t sleeping well.

Sleep is vital for our bodies to repair.


Our bodies operate in two main modes. We have an autonomic nervous system that operates either in a rest and digest state, called the parasympathetic nervous system, or the fight and flight state, called the sympathetic nervous system. Our bodies cannot operate in both modes simultaneously. By default, the parasympathetic nervous system turns off the sympathetic nervous system.

Our bodies need to be able to default to the parasympathetic state in order to heal. And a lack of sleep might indicate that we can’t relax enough for our bodies to repair. Our bodies cannot both be in fight or flight, and rest and digest at the same time.

We have also known that sleep helps solidify what we’ve learned, and that our brains detoxify during sleep.

But recently, a new discovery at the University of Rochester shows a clear demonstration of how stress inhibits both our ability to sleep, and our ability to heal.

Sleep and MicrogliaIn our brains, we have neurons and supporting cells, such as microglia.

The microglia are like the maintenance crew in the brain. They survey the brain, clean up cellular debris, and repair connections between cells.

Research by Ania Majewska, PhD. showed that microglia have receptors for the neurotransmitter neuropinephrine, which is activated during stress. Not surprisingly, if we have too much neuropinephrine when we are trying to sleep, it wakes us up.

But when neuroepinephrine binds to the receptors on the microglia, the brain’s maintenance crew is told to take a break.

This finding shows a key mechanism by which we can suffer any kind of brain-related challenges at any stage in life! So much of our ability to heal is dependent on our microglia’s ability to clean up toxins and repair cellular connections!

Sleep is vital to good health.

Life is simply better, well slept.

Without enough, we become far more vulnerable to life’s insults. Thus I urge client’s to make it a priority. Life is simply better, well slept.

Are you struggling with sleep? Some of the most common reasons are due to an ability to relax, (a busy brain), our sleep habits, or our environment, sleep apnea, or needing to pee in the middle of the night. I’ve helped many clients with all of these issues and more. If you’d like to learn more about how I can support your ability to get a good night’s rest, learn more about what I do here, and contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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