The Nature of Sleep….

Just tossing these thoughts around in my mind….

I was thinking about what happens when we sleep. Our bodies cool, and we dream, and that just about sums up what we know. But why….

I think our bodies cool, and the blood vessels, notably in the brain contract, giving the heart a rest by having to pump blood so hard or so far.  As the heart is resting, and blood is not reaching structures of the brain essential for when we’re awake, those structures are simply switched off for the time being.

Last year it was discovered that the hallucinogenic effects of psylocibin were seen when it interrupted blod flow to certain parts of the brain. Is it possible that dreaming is merely the result of interrupted blood flow, part of a mechanism to rest the heart?


So I was thinking about one of my other ideas; that the role of serotonin is purely to regulate blood flow etc, and started to think about the role of melatonin in sleep. What if melatonin actually has very little to do with sleep directly, and is, in fact, synthesised from serotonin in the brain at the time we usually sleep, purely to remove that serotonin which is keeping those blood vessels open, or switched on, in the parts of the brain used during wakefulness. I have no doubt that melatonin has another significant part to play, but my point is that it is not the melatonin per se which is part of our sleep mechanism, more that its replacing the serotonin which would otherwise open the blood flow gates and keep us awake.









~ by funnyinthehead on April 18, 2012.

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