Our brain is an amazing organ and one we seldom think about. The brain is part of our central nervous system and responsible for receiving information, interpreting the information and directing the body in responding to this information. We take for granted the complexities of this amazing organ and it is important for us to recognize how to create the best environment for our brains to function positively. Sleep plays an integral part in the proper functioning of our brains and if you have ever been running on little or poor quality sleep, you can understand how it can influence how you function in the world. When we do not get enough sleep, we can experience low energy, decreased cognition, difficulty regulating emotion, lack of focus, impaired decision making and difficulty regulating emotion. Sleep is often seen as a passive process but it is actually a very active time for the brain, a time it uses to ‘clean house’ by clearing toxins and is also a time that it repairs cells.
The cerebral cortex is the largest part of the brain and is associated with higher brain function and it is divided into four sections:
- Frontal Lobe- associated with reasoning, planning, parts of speech, movement, emotions, and problem solving
- Parietal Lobe- associated with movement, orientation, recognition, perception of stimuli
- Occipital Lobe- associated with visual processing
- Temporal Lobe- associated with perception and recognition of auditory stimuli, memory, and speech
- The cerebellum is associated with regulation and coordination of movement, posture, and balance and the brain stem is responsible for basic functions vital to life such as breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure.
You can see why they call it the master organ. Everything we do is dependent on the health and functioning of our brain.
Tips for getting a better sleep routine:
- Wake up and go to bed similar times each day, even on the weekend.
- Avoid TV, computers, phones and other electronics at least an hour before bed
- Sleep in a room that is entirely dark
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals before bed
In today’s busy world we cram so much into a day, our ability to get it all done is more the focus than how we recover from these busy days. We put many demands on the body without even thinking about it. It is not usually until we crash that we become aware that our body needs rest. Overworking yourself to get everything done can often result in sleep deprivation which actually damages the brain.
Remember to make sleep a priority…your life depends on it!
Dr. Brandy James graduated from Bishops University with a Bachelor of Science majouring in Biology. She went on to complete her medical training at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is a strong believer in finding and addressing the root cause of the imbalances in health and disease. She takes a holistic and individualized approach to medicine and utilizes a combination of botanical medicine, nutrition, homeopathy and lifestyle and is also trained in Neuroemotional Technique (NET).