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The Brain’s Internal Clock

brain brain's internal clock

It’s Working Even While We Sleep

How does our brain know when we have driven so far that we are certain we missed the exit, or that we have showered long enough, or that we have slept enough? The answer lies with our internal clock that keeps track of time as we move through our day. Our brain makes us consciously aware of the passage of time, and helps our body function accordingly. Sleep affects our daily life. “When we sleep well, we wake up feeling refreshed and alert for our daily activities. Sleep affects how we look, feel and perform on a daily basis, and can have a major impact on our overall quality of life” (“What Happens When You Sleep”).

“Neuroscientists believe that we have distinct neural systems for processing different types of time, for example, to maintain a circadian rhythm, to control the timing of fine body movements, and for conscious awareness of time passage” (Reas, 2013).

Our Brain

While we sleep, our brain’s internal clock is working systematically – essential in order for us to keep breathing. Because our brain is engaged while we sleep, we can move and dream in our sleep. Our brain is trained to track time accurately, which is why many of us awaken just minutes before the alarm sounds, or why others of us don’t need an alarm clock at all. The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is a clump of nerves that acts as an internal clock. It tells you when you are sleepy and when you are not. It also controls your sense of time. “The SCN produces a signal that can keep the rest of the body on an approximately 24-hour schedule” (“The Human Suprachiasmatic Nucleus”).

It is nice to be able to rely on our internal clock, but is it reliable when we don’t have a good night’s sleep? Most likely not – While there has been some research on relying on the internal alarm clock, scientists are still studying how to control it.

Keeping our body and mind healthy and rested helps keep our internal clock running smoothly and efficiently. Therefore, is imperative to eat well, exercise daily, and to get plenty of good quality sleep. And to encourage deeper sleep, choose the luxury foam mattress that will transform your nights... LunaBed.

Sleep Well for a Change

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