Sleep you way to better mental health

As most of your know my main focus both on the app and in clinic is to help both adults and kids improve the quality of their sleep.  This has always been a focus area at MindOverMatter as improved sleep quality always has a significant impact on the therapy outcomes. 

There has been lots of research done on the importance of getting regular quality sleep and we know that sleep is especially important for children due to the impact it has on their both mental and physical development. Sleep is the time for restoration and for children’s bodies to recharge and retain the information they have learned throughout the day. 

I was really excited to read a recent study which was conducted by researchers at the Department of Neurology of the University of Bern and University Hospital Bern.  During this study they identified how the brain triages emotions during dream sleep (REM) to consolidate the storage of positive emotions while dampening the consolidation of negative ones.

This is exactly what I am finding in clinic when I use hypnosis.

During deep non-REM sleep often referred to as restorative sleep, the body’s energy is restored, growth and repair occurs and important brain development hormones are released.   However this new research is showing what actually happens during Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.  This is a unique and mysterious sleep state during which most dreams occur together with intense emotional contents.

How and why these emotions are reactivated is unclear. The prefrontal cortex integrates many of these emotions during waking hours but appears paradoxically quiescent during REM sleep.

“Our goal was to understand the underlying mechanism and the functions of such a surprising phenomenon,” says Prof. Antoine Adamantidis from the Department of Biomedical Research (DBMR) at the University of Bern and the Department of Neurology at the Inselspital, University Hospital of Bern.

“This study sheds light on how the brain processes emotions during dream sleep by consolidating positive emotions while dampening the consolidation of negative emotions. The findings could pave the way for new treatments for PTSD and other disorders associated with negative emotional processing.”

I will be watching this study and others with great interest as we yet again continue to explore the intricacies associated with the complex workings of the brain.      

For more information about the research click here.

Dog and child sleeping