Brain Variation Associated With Insomnia As Discussed By A Therapist

When you develop insomnia, one of the issues is when you go to bed and try to get to sleep, but instead, your mind starts to race, running thoughts up to the point that it causes you to feel sleep-deprived.  If this happens over time, your mind starts to associate the bed with a space to think and not a place to sleep. And so there is mental conditioning in which your mind is programmed into not going to sleep because your mind believes that the bed is a place to think.

Increased arousal, often related to fear of not sleeping or being unable to function effectively during the day, prevents the usual functioning of brain systems which initiate and maintain sleep. — John Cline Ph.D. 



In brain development, insomniacs or people with chronic insomnia show more plasticity and activity in the brain.  Plasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt and change to different environments and situations. The consequence of too much plasticity in the brain tends for insomniacs to develop difficulty sleeping.  That is because of the multiple working neurons acting as agents for them to think about a lot of things and even overthink about possible events in the future. Some experts believe that too much brain activity of insomniacs causes the brain to fight with itself when it is about to sleep. 


Insomnia affects your quality of life making it a constant struggle.  The inadequate sleep leads to various problems in an individual, and it can also lead to risk factors such as  

  • stress 
  • anxiety 
  • depression 



Many scientific studies show that insomnia sufferers cannot properly turn on brain regions responsible for memory task and a part of the brain responsible for mind-wandering which is especially needed in understanding complex activities.   


Insomnia is different for each individual – what causes it, why you can’t sleep, and the various environmental factors and stimuli. An individual with insomnia is having trouble falling asleep, while for some, they wake up throughout the night and struggle to fall back to sleep.  

 Recent studies show that some physiological characteristics of insomnia, characteristics already known to exist at night and during sleep, are also present throughout waking hours. — Michael J Breus Ph.D.

There are two types of insomnia, acute insomnia wherein it lasts less than a month and chronic insomnia which lasts to about greater than one month.  

Insomnia disturbs both the quality and quantity of sleep and reduces an individual’s ability to attain a restorative sleep which eventually causes fatigue, daytime sleepiness, the feeling of anxiousness over time, irritability, and worst, depression.  

Chronic insomnia can lead to professional and personal problems as well as day to day challenges like falling asleep while driving, loss of focus as to directions, and lack of awareness of the surroundings.  



 Routine things like locking up the house, drinking a cup of tea, putting on pajamas, washing your face, and brushing your teeth can become rituals when performed regularly and consistently before bed. Your brain eventually associates these things with winding down and going to sleep. — Megan MacCutcheon, LPC

People with insomnia are likely to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs which can be extremely dangerous. Intake of alcohol or drugs to fight off insomnia has its side effects, one of which includes being dependent on the substance which can cause further damage to the sleep rhythm of the body when the intake stops. The body starts to crave more of the substance, and it releases stress hormones if the tolerance level due to substance intake in the body does not meet up with the required dosage of such substance in the body. 


Therapists have discussed the many brain variations that are linked to insomnia.  It is advisable to find out what triggers your brain to send signals to the body to not sleep and find the best ways to cure and fight off insomnia.