An uncontrollable wandering mind plays a key role in primary insomnia,

The mark of sleeplessness

The mark of sleeplessness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We must all have had sleepless nights.  Now there seems to be a scientific reason as this study from 31st August shows …..




You’re lying in bed.
Random thoughts are filling your head
and you’re dreading the night
when the churn of your mind takes flight.

A wandering mind,
a wondering mind,
a pondering mind
meandering mind,
the kind of mind that is drifting blind,
a mind inclined to be left behind
chased by the demons that haunt you at night.

It’s a mind that simply can’t find its way
neither by night
nor in the weltering race of the day.
It’s a mind unsheltered, exposed in the light
whose working memory can’t stay turned on
and whose ‘wandering’ function won’t be switched off.
It’s the kind of mind that won’t let you sleep,
that keeps you awake
and takes its toll,
its mind-bending toll
in the lack of control,
its never-ending role
stretching the fabric of time
in primary insomnia.



31st August 2013 – headline from the Daily Mail

Notes:  “An uncontrollable wandering mind plays a key role in primary insomnia, according to a new study of insomniacs’ brain scans.”  Brain scans of insomniacs have revealed how regions of the brain associated with wandering thoughts do not shut down when the brain is given complex tasks, making sufferers put more effort into daytime jobs than healthy sleepers.  Primary insomnia is a form of the condition where sleep is interrupted without the patient suffering any other condition such as depression or chronic pain caused by a medication or substance abuse.  In people without the condition, parts of the brain used for ‘working memory’ are switched on and off selectively in order to complete tasks in the most efficient way possible, a process interrupted in primary insomniacs.  Insomnia subjects, however, do not properly turn on brain regions critical to a working memory task and do not turn off ‘mind-wandering’ brain regions irrelevant to the task.

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