What is the quality of your sleep? If you drift off to sleep easily but wake up worn, anxious, or from bad dreams it might be worth paying attention to your last thoughts and last words before bed time.
According to Dr. Troy Spurrill, the most important thoughts of your day are the ones you have just before you fall asleep.
“We have a conscious part of the brain and a subconscious part of the brain. A lot of times the majority of your brain is actually subconscious. The funny thing is you’re only aware of the conscious parts but 80% is really subconscious and always working.”
Essentially, when we think about a particular person or event our subconscious pulls up all of the thoughts, emotions and memories related to that person and event. Our subconscious will continue to process this data after our conscious thoughts have moved on.
“The challenge is when you’re thinking these things before going to bed, especially emotionally charged events before going to bed, your conscious part of the brain starts to go to sleep, but the subconscious is still working.”
“It’s keeping your organs alive, it’s part of getting into the deep sleep and the resetting of our body. There’s even a stage or a point where we actually completely go paralyzed, all of our muscles get shut off; it’s like a computer rebooting. The healing actually starts to occur during this stage.”
When we have dreams that are emotionally charged, they can disrupt our sleep.
“You can release adrenaline in the middle of the night from a scary dream. We see this with kids and night terrors, even adults and it can disrupt your sleep. So what you’re thinking of as you drift off sets in motion the conscious triggering the subconscious to collect the data and information which then begins to influence your dreams when you go to sleep.”
Even if we feel like we’ve stopped thinking about something stressful in our conscious. It’s entirely possible that our subconscious is still attempting to process that stimuli. This could hinder our ability to get good rest.
Dr. Troy Spurrill is the CEO and founder of Synapse: A Center For Health and Healing. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Molecular Biology from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Chiropractic from Northwestern Health Sciences University, and has extensive training in Functional Neurology, Functional medicine, Nutrition, and Applied Kinesiology.