The definition of PARTYING I am using is quite broad – it could be a rock “n roll concert or a quiet dinner with friends. The point – you went out, had a stimulating time and it is now WAY PAST your normal bedtime.
You’re tired. Seriously tired.
Tired and wired
But… when you climb into bed, despite being sleep deprived, you find yourself unable to fall asleep.
You’re TIRED & WIRED.
NOTE : This contrasts with the situation when you are on the other end of the PARTY going experience. The hapless mom, waiting for Suzie to come home. You’re just TIRED. And you’re fighting sleep..
Keeping your eyes open is a serious strain.
The tired but wired effect is biochemical….
Winding up mice
This is what a team of researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Centre discovered, when they compared the wiring of just tired and tired & wired, mice.
The team started off with three groups of genetically identical mice.
- The control group were left to enjoy good days of sleep. Remember, mice are nocturnal so they’re supposed to be out and about in the middle of the night, daytime is sleep time.
- The second group of mice had their sleep rudely interrupted, every time they were about to doze off, they were touched gently.
- The third group of mice were also kept awake, but for them the experience was quite fun. On the hour, they were moved to a new cage. Now moving house is an exciting experience for any mouse – new everything. FUN, FUN, FUN…. the new everything MUST be thoroughly explored, which usually takes about an hour.
Both of the sleep deprived groups had a deficit of 6 hours – so they were equally tired. But when the “torment” ended, the reluctantly awake mice, were able to quickly fall asleep, the awake and excited mice, struggled to enter dreamland.
The biochemistry of WIRED
The difference was chemical.
The research team studied the “wiring” in the three groups of mice….. one protein stood out
Phosphorylated dynamin 1
This protein was high in the tired & wired mice, but did not feature in the tired mice and the mice that were not sleep deprived.
So phosphorylated dynamin 1 makes us WIRED.
Mother Nature’s “gift” to ensure we don’t SLEEP through danger.
Partying is dangerous
It can be…. especially if you add in too much stimulating caffeine. But it’s not meant to be – the wired & tired is just BIOLOGY. Mother Nature watching your back !
Doing stimulating things before bed, WAKES you up.
Oh, dear !
Most of our night time habits are pretty stimulating…
- Browsing the internet to learn something new or catching up with friends on facebook
- Reading a spy novel in bed
- Watching a thriller on TV
And of course, all of these things emit BLUE LIGHT upsetting melatonin, your night valet. This deceives the brain into thinking it is the middle of the day, not the middle of the night. Compounded the “danger” effect.
Take it easy before bed
The moral of the story….don’t do things that are STIMULATING, immediately before bed.
Stimulating activities will rewire your brain, so it will be more difficult to fall asleep.
Your brain will need time to “let go”.
You can make it more pleasant, by doing it before you climb into bed. Winding down activities that can be included in your night ritual, are enjoying soft music and a warm bath by candle light. Alternatively, you can toss and turn in bed, whilst your brain works on “unwinding”.
Either way……… you will need to “wait” for your phosphorylated dynamin 1 levels to drop back to normal, before visiting dreamland. It’s BIOLOGY.
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