Consider Sleep as a Symptom of Brain Health

English: Lou Ruvo Brain Institute

English: Lou Ruvo Brain Institute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the brain gets sick, what does it look like?  Do we grow warts, or turn purple or loose our thumbs?  How does our brain say,


Through emotions and behaviors.  That’s how.

If we were an internist, a primary care physician, we would look at the vital signs.  We’d put our fingers on the wrist, count beats of the heart and breathing, and measure the pressure in the blood filled arteries.  This would tell us some of the story, the introduction to the body.

A church secretary came in complaining of indigestion times two weeks….


In a far off land, there once was a young maiden who by chance came to a magic filled glade…


How does one do this in psychiatry though?  We start with the vital sign of SLEEP.

A farmer in the vast expanse of corn fields went each night to his bed with determination, gritted teeth and racing thoughts.  He worried over things that others thought were insignificant.  He ruminated and chewed over information.  Making decisions followed him around as if each were a crisis life balanced on.  The farmer was awake in the night for hours before his mind turned off.  And when he awakened, he was not refreshed….

Question:  Are you comfortable with considering sleep as a symptom of brain health?  When do you decide to look for medical reasons for poor sleep verses adjustment issues?  Please tell us your story.

Self-care tip:  Get to know your story to know better about your health.

8 thoughts on “Consider Sleep as a Symptom of Brain Health

  1. This photo looks like the buildings of campus of college I attended in late 60’s. Or that’s how it seemed. Hmmm. All our anxieties certainly affect sleep and consequently brain health. I sleep so much better since triple by-pass six years ago. Improved oxygenation seems to have a lot to do with it I suppose.

  2. Answers: Yes and as soon as you know you have a medical reason for not sleeping. Question: If, when you know what your medical reason is, you find that the only thing that helps is pain killers (most of which you can’t take because of stomach ulcers) or drugs that make you so groggy in the morning…most of the day!!…that you just get more depressed? As soon as someone can find some way to make the pain go away and the grogginess disappear then I will sleep away and my depression and frustration will be no more. However, at 71 that’s never going to happen so I’m pretty sure I don’t even care, anymore. I just learn to live with whatever.

    And, if anyone has read any recent comments by me, Mickey Mouse in 98 degrees in Florida is NOT the answer to anything concerning brain health. Just makes you sweat, makes your legs swell and you get what I have found to actually be called Disney Rash!.. Look it up. It’s real and it hurts….and so does having to be in a wheelchair. I’m just sayin’………………

  3. Sorry. Just re-read the comment after it was posted. What do you do if, when you find that it’s a medical problem…….?

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