Infinity Spine Center Blog

Can One Simple Trick Really Heal Your Brain and Increase Your Sex Drive?

When was the last time you had a dream? If you can’t remember, it’s time to listen up before it’s too late. When you dream you’re likely to be in REM sleep.  And REM is one of the BEST things for your health that’s free. It’s your drug of choice for depression, anxiety, shitty mood, low energy, Alzheimer’s, concussion, low T, Parkinson’s, autoimmune disease this and that, and even better sex. If you don’t remember your dream, but you wake up with an erection, there’s a good chance you got that deep REM sleep. Even though females lack the visual evidence compared to men, ladies can also get erections during the dreaming state of sleep. If REM sleep can do that for your situation downstairs, just imagine what it’s going to do for your goods upstairs.
Aging and REM Sleep
What sucks is as we age we get less REM sleep. I believe many of the diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia) that we see in older people can be reversed when you begin to prioritize sleep and start dreaming. I’ve seen this happen with an 86 year young lady that works with us. She came in complaining of always being tired and chronic lower back pain. Last January, after only days of prioritizing her sleep, she sent us this message:

Prep Your Brain and Body for REM 
REM sleep doesn’t happen by accident. If you think you’re going to pull a JaMarcus Russell (see below) by not preparing your body and brain for REM sleep you’re kidding yourself.

The Short and Sweet of Sleep

The Two Stages of Sleep: 
1. NREM-non-dream state, slowed breathing and heart rate
2. REM- the dreaming state, with rapid eye movement, increased breathing and heart rate

The NREM and REM cycle through the night in 90-minute intervals. At the beginning of the night the 90-minute intervals are rich with NREM but as you sleep through the night, there’s a greater amount of REM.

In the picture above, you can see the normal spike of cortisol (black line) in the morning–that’s the signal to your brain to wake up and find food. As the day progresses your cortisol levels should drop and if not, good luck sleeping.  The white line represents the levels growth hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Growth hormones are set into motion by melatonin. Booom! That’s why your T levels are in the dumps and you got no visual evidence downstairs of REM sleep if you know what I’m talking about!

Timing of Physical and Psychological Repairs During Sleep
In the early part of the night when you’re having more NREM, your body is doing a lot of physical repairs. As your sleep progresses and REM sleep increases, you begin to do more psychological repairs.

Females and REM Sleep
Ladies, REM sleep is more challenging for you during pre-menstruation due to a sudden drop in progesterone levels in the first 1/2 of your cycle. Decreased progesterone levels cause lower body temperature making REM sleep more challenging. So if you find yourself waking up like a zombie half of the month, you’re going to want to do everything that you can to decrease stressors (see below for steps) in your life. Make you a priority.

Things you need to do to get more REM Sleep:

1. Take a cold shower in the morning and a warm shower before you go to bed. Along with your warm shower before bed, meditate or have downtime 30 minutes before bed. One of the easiest ways to meditate is doing breathwork. Do short inhales (2-3 seconds), long, full exhales (9-30 seconds).

2. Get rid of crappy lights and sleep in complete darkness. Wear the swag reds after sunset when you have lights on or you’re using a crappy piece of technology (as covered in “Your Best Night’s Sleep”). Be sure to take care of that light creeping in past your curtains. Artificial light in the winter time is one of the worst things for your health. This is Cornerman 101 stuff.

3. Instead of crushing your body all the time with high-intensity workouts, do a casual low-intensity hike outside in the morning or before sunset.

4. If going to sleep or staying asleep is a challenge and you do weight training, try 3 things:
-decrease your volume (sets and reps) per workout
– have bro sesh rest periods (instead of 0 or 30 seconds of rest, try 2-3 minutes of        rest)
-avoid training in the evening.

5. If you wake at 1, 2, or 3 am and can’t fall back asleep, it’s time to take a look at your stressors. A careful look at your symptoms will help you narrow down the causes of restless nights of sleep. First, look at your psychological stressors (your relationships, finances, job, “why” and mindset).

These toes need more than a pedi. There’s a good chance
this person is growing a fungus farm in their gut too.

6. Do #5 then immediately to your GI.  Symptoms such as excessive gas, cramping, bloating, constipation, loose poop or you do the green apple quick step frequently is a sure sign your GI is jacked. If this is you, there’s a good chance you may have a fungal infection. Itchiness or skin conditions like acne, energy highs and lows, restlessness, irritability, brain fog, cracking/noisy joints and toenails that need more help than a pedi can offer, are your signs that you’re growing a small animal farm inside of you that wants to turn you into minerals to feed the plants of the world. “What do you mean? I eat healthy! I had a salad for lunch!” Pay attention to the 3 hours post salad for any of the above symptoms.

7. As you are doing #5 and 6, become aware of your body. According to the CDC, 20% of us have chronic pain. I’m calling BS on that! It’s more like 90%. Be real. Neck pain? Back pain? Knee pain? Shoulder pain? All of these will crush your sleep and soul. Take care of all the toxic shit.

8. Avoid technology and “work” for your job after sunset. I know, technology is a modern day reality and you “have to get work done.” Divorce yourself from this crap and get your health back. Hangout with your family or friends or read a real book (not on your phone or tech device) after dinner. This is Cornerman 101 stuff too.

9. Avoid waking up to an alarm. This is probably as challenging as staying off your phone and not doing work after sunset, but you have to do it if you want to regain your health. Waking up to an alarm during REM sleep can crush the magic of REM sleep and even leave you a little pissy when you wake up. Who wants to be woken up by a loud ass beeping noise when juices are flowing?!

The aggressive bearhug cuddle technique
10. Have sex. Sex helps with sleep and sleep helps with sex. Sex decreases cortisol and increases oxytocin, prolactin, and dopamine. All of these help you chill out.  For women, sex boosts estrogen which helps with REM sleep. And for men, you get that le petit mort that’ll have you out in no time. After all the excitement and release of all the feel-good hormones, you know you’re gettin’ those cuddles!

Try it for 2 weeks straight. Make REM sleep a priority and you’ll feel like a champ!

Your cornerman with love,
Dr. Thoma

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