How Sleep Chemistry Keeps Our Mind and Body Together

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We are made up of body, soul and mind, according to various beliefs. And so, in our common slang, we go for things & get to do things that will ‘keep body and soul together’.

For some, it is anything that brings pleasure; for another group, it is whatever that gives relaxation; and for others it is the things or situations that provides rest-of-mind like money, good job, good spouse or partner, and so on.

For each of us, as an individual, I have no doubt that you know one or two things that can ‘keep your body and soul together’. But then, what happens to the mind in those circumstances when we are ‘keeping body and soul together’?

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The mind is the place for our consciousness and thought. According to Greek Philosophers and Oxford English Dictionary, the mind is “the element of a person that enables the person to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel.” So, the mind is the set of facilities responsible for mental activities such as perception, experience, belief, emotion, intention, etc.

Do you know that the mind guides and controls the activities of the body? And at some points, equally, the activities of the body influence the mind. But at other points also, both the mind and body have some separate independent activities. As a result, in addition to the reciprocal effects on one another, occasions of unconnected operations of either body or the mind occur.

So, overall the body and mind can appear to operate at dissimilar paces; a reality that sounds a bit scary. If the operations of both mind and body continues endlessly at such divergent mode, it can get to a point when the frequency of differing operations is at climax, for example, when the mind direct turning to right and the body turns to left – a total human sanity breakdown. Thanks to nature, that there is a time when mind and body are compelled to operate at a similar and harmonized pace.

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It is during sleep that these two actors operate at a similar tempo. We are aware of sleep at two points in time: when it is coming and when it is just gone. This is the mind at work in enabling awareness. Parallel to this, the body is weak when the sleep is coming and at one’s waking, as the sleep departs. What happens to the mind and body in between, within that mysterious period of sleep?

Sleep is a brain-originated state of rest where both the body and the mind are shut down from both their usually routine activities and strange actions. At this time, both the mind and the body together switch to out-of-operation mode to allow quick fixes, re-gigging and rebooting. The body goes inactive and the mind becomes unconscious. The muscles of the body do less or near nothing and relax more; at the same time, voluntary or conscious body movements are temporarily absent. Any body movement that occurs due to muscular activity is unintentional.

And the unintentional movement will be further be in unguided direction. Just like when we toss and turn in bed while deep asleep hitting the next person lying beside us, or getting up to walk to room corner to pee instead of doing that in the toilet. In this altered state of consciousness called sleep, the perception or reception of messages from the surrounding is demonstrably reduced and sometimes absent.

The person loses the usual observations of the good, the bad and the ugly things that call up brain reactions and activities like beauty, ugliness, memorable aroma, and sweet or sour melody. No wonder that no one has seen himself or herself while asleep. In sleep, there also happens to be reduced interaction with the surroundings. As mentioned before, one would not be able to note the exact times of the onset and departure of sleep, and by extension the exact duration of sleep.

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On a further note, the person cannot control how the bed he/she is sleeping on handles his/her body. We have an opportunity to intervene in this uncontrollable body-in-sleep bed handling. The influence we have over how the bed treats us is to prefer and prepare the bed well before sleep. This influence would largely be achieved by selection of the mattress, pillows and bed sheets conducive for a supportive sleeping experience. By doing so, one would be able to recall after sleep, with pleasure, that sleep kept the body and mind together!

Let us remember that where you sleep, when you sleep and how you sleep affect your mental health, physical wellbeing and living a healthy life. We all need quality sleep to be well for more productivity in our endeavours.

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Do you need further information on the above subject?
Are you looking for the best way to maintain quality sleep for generally wellbeing and healthy living?
Are you currently facing any sleeping difficulty?
Remember, a doctor is an appropriate person to offer relevant advice for maintenance of quality sleep and solution to sleep difficulties.

Do you want to contact the Orthopaedic Sleep Consultant, Dr Charles Uzodimma, kindly send your request to

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