The body’s response to stress (‘fight or flight’) is an important mechanism for survival. The point is to become energized to face the danger or be ready to run away. However, the ‘fight or flight’ response isn’t the only way people respond to stress. 

For some people, dealing with stress translates into a desire to hide underneath the blankets and blot the world out by sleeping. Is there something wrong with you if you respond to stress in this way?

“Learned helplessness”

There’s a concept in psychology called “learned helplessness.” If you experience helplessness in your early childhood development, you may continue to perceive a lack of control, even when the context changes. You may have been conditioned to respond to stress with helplessness rather than trying to deal with it. You just want to sleep when you experience a flood of emotions. 

If you feel you just want to sleep all the time, Green and White Vein Kratom from Kingdom Kratom will help to stimulate and energize you as well as give you a general sense of well-being. 

Process and store emotional memories

Sleep isn’t just like turning off the lights. It may seem like escapism, but there is still a lot going on in your body. You may temporarily escape physically from the stress, but sleep can help you if you have many emotional memories to process. It takes sleep to give your brain the space it needs to sift through the day’s experiences and consolidate memories. 

This could explain why small kids need naps. Their short-term memory storage space is so small that they need to consolidate their memories more often. Your memories first sit in your brain’s short-term storage. They are easily forgotten when other experiences come along. For them to last, they need to go through a consolidation process where they’re integrated into your other memories. 

Restore depleted glucose levels

One explanation of why people sleep when they feel stressed is that they quickly use up all the glucose in their brains just to keep functioning. Sleeping helps to restore their depleted glucose levels and enables the brain to cope with the stress again. 

Low levels of the neurochemical Orexin

The neurochemical Orexin was only discovered about 15 years ago but it plays a crucial role in the body. Your orexin level rises when you wake up and drops before you go to sleep so it plays a role in your sleep/wake rhythms. It is also part of the stress response system. 

Studies show that Orexin kicks in when you’re faced with stress and triggers the stress responses you would expect. They also show that low orexin levels make some individuals more likely to be sleepy at unusual times and others have less ability to react to stressors in a healthy, active way. 

Constantly low orexin levels have been linked to anxiety and depression. The science related to this is and what’s happening on a chemical level is still at an early stage but there does appear to be some connection. 

You wake up feeling different

While the chemical responses to stress are still being studied, what is common is that if you fall asleep when you experience stress of some kind, you usually wake up feeling like a different person. 

Sleep dampens down all the stress systems in your body and allows it to relax. You feel less tense, less nauseous and your frayed nerves are calmer when you wake up. The problem may not have gone away but you may feel better equipped to handle it once you’ve had your sleep. 

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