It’s happened to me for two consecutive nights now. I am trying to resolve something, and I get stuck. I try and try, and no way, it seems. Out of frustration, I tell myself maybe it’s time to go and sleep, or perhaps my brain is currently not operating at its optimum. I wake up the following day, look at the same problem and solve it in less than 30 seconds. The first time this happened, I thought it was a fluke. It happened again this morning, and now I can see clearly that something here needs to be well understood as it may have applications in other areas of life.
When we are tired and feel sleepy, several changes occur in the brain. One of the main changes is the increased release of a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical that builds up in the brain throughout the day and is responsible for promoting sleep. As adenosine levels increase, it slows down brain activity and causes drowsiness.
Another change that occurs in the brain when we are tired is decreased activity in the arousal centers of the brain, such as the hypothalamus, which helps to control wakefulness and sleep. This decreased activity makes it harder to stay awake and alert. Additionally, levels of the hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, also increase, signaling the body that it is time to sleep. This hormone will help to make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Furthermore, when we are tired, the brain also struggles to focus and pay attention, making it harder to process information, solve problems and make decisions.
Overall, when we are tired and feel sleepy, the brain goes through several changes that promote sleep and make it harder to stay awake and alert.
Applying this to other areas of our lives will show that everything we find ourselves working on will also have its cycles. Beyond the seasonal cycles, there will also be the rest cycles. Our energies are not always on the high. We need to learn how to pause, take a break and come back more powerful and intelligent to face whatever we are grappling with.
There are two key ways of doing this. Can you hazard a guess? Let’s have your guesses ahead of discussing them in detail tomorrow.