How To Drive Someone Crazy

More

Emma Young reports on the connection between sleeping badly and psychological disorders:

...during REM, production of serotonin and noradrenalin shuts down in the brain. Noradrenalin is the neurochemical associated with stress, fear and the flight response; it translates to adrenalin in the body. Serotonin modulates anger and aggression. "You get this beautiful biological theatre during REM sleep, where the brain can go back over experiences it has learned in days past, but can do so in a situation where there are none of these hyping-up neurochemicals," Walker says. So although dreams can be highly emotional, he thinks that they gradually erode the emotional edges of memories.

In PTSD this process seems to fail, so that traumatic memories are recalled in all their emotional detail. It is not clear yet why this happens, but there is evidence that people with PTSD have higher waking levels of noradrenalin and serotonin. This might mean that neurotransmitters cannot be damped down sufficiently during REM sleep for the emotional intensity of the memories to be stripped away, says Walker.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down