Brain Hemispheres Fall Asleep At Varying Levels – Implications In Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders continue to eat away at the financial welfare of many adults. As a leading cause of seeking medical attention and the use of prescription sleep aids, many adults struggle day in, and day out, to find the right balance of medication and controlled, quality sleep. The best remedy, for most individuals with sleep disorders, lies in education. That is to say, if you understand the underlying cause and origin of your sleep disorder you may have a greater opportunity to gain control over the complication of your sleep.

In recent decades, there has been a change in the focus of sleep wherein more adults are using prescription sleep aids to overcome insomnia and other related sleep disorders, rather than using natural methods. However, with this same approach to prescription drug use, we are finding, now, that not all prescription sleep aids work effectively. This deficiency in sleep, and ability to control sleep with sleep aids, may be due, in part, to the lateral aspect by which the brain moves into sleep mode.

Your brain “falls asleep” at varying times and intervals. In other words, when you attempt to fall asleep, your entire brain does not fall to sleep at one time. Instead, specific areas of the brain move into the realm of sleep faster than other areas of the brain. In the simplest of terms, as the EEG activity of the brain slows, theta rhythms begin to develop, followed by manifestations of sleep spindles. In the human brain, this evolving process does not occur at one time within the brain. Instead, it is a transitioning process, with some individuals finding difficulty in slowing EEG activity in specific parts of the brain.

When EEG activities in specific parts of the brain are not slowed, or theta waves are not developed, the area of the brain affected does not essentially fall asleep. As a result, you may experience vivid dreaming, engage in sleepwalking, or simply experience other forms of parasomnia or insomnia complications. In most healthy adults, the left side of the brain will engage in sleep more readily than the right side. In theory, it is believed it is the right side of the brain that is then startled more easily into awakening and, thus, awakens the left side of the brain.

If you suffer from a sleep disorder, it is not uncommon to seek out and use prescription sleep aids. Rather than doing so, ask your physician to first make a recommendation for a sleep study. By assessing your sleep processing, the sleep study center can determine if your left brain-right brain sleep function is correctly intact. If the right side of the brain is found to be overly stimulated, thereby resulting in insomnia, you may find the best recommendation is to engage in activities that will promote relaxation to the right brain, including the traditional recommendations of warm baths, reading, and relaxation. Continuing to engage in highly structured and engaging activities, the right brain will never fall asleep and you will continue to experience sleep complications.