the brain & what’s behind insomnia

OK, let’s start this with one big, important message:
insomnia is not your fault. Did you get that? It’s not your fault.

Insomnia is a real medical condition.

It should be taken seriously, and may even need professional
help—from a real doctor, not your neighbor (unless your neighbor is, in fact, your doctor).

So if it’s not all you, then what causes insomnia? To understand that, first let’s get our heads around how sleep works.

the sleep/wake system

Alright, let’s get sciencey. How and when you feel sleepy comes down to your body’s sleep/wake system. Your brain has sleep signals and wake signals that work together, and for healthy sleepers, work in pretty good harmony. Wake signals handoff to the sleep signals and we sleep. When this handoff is delayed or doesn’t happen, well, say hello to staring at the ceiling because, chances are, it’s not going to be a good night.

Wake up america

the brain & insomnia

Insomnia is a real medical condition that occurs when the sleep/wake system is a bit out of step. And when this happens, it doesn’t matter how many sheep you count, you’ll probably be struggling to sleep well.

Let’s go back to harmony between the sleep/wake system. In some instances, when that harmony is out of sync, the wake signals remain active (kind of like a flashing neon light shouting “WAKE. WAKE. WAKE.”) This creates an imbalance within the sleep/wake system. Your brain is now stuck in a state where there’s too much wake, creating overactive wake signaling.

Wake up america

To sum it up, the signals that keep you awake get stuck in overdrive, and this
fast and furious brain mode can result in insomnia. Yep, think about all those
nights where you just can’t sleep no matter what you do. Well, it’s thanks to
that pesky sleep/wake imbalance.

the skinny


Insomnia is not your fault

Wake up america

Insomnia is a real medical condition that occurs when the sleep/wake system in the brain isn’t working in harmony

Wake up america

Overactive wake signaling could be the cause of your insomnia

Wake up america
Wake up america

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you will be directed to a website where you can learn about a prescription treatment for insomnia.

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