Un ojo entre dos centrales nucleares. Ilustra el sueño REM.

REM On Off

Un ojo entre dos centrales nucleares. Ilustra el sueño REM.

The Sabotage.

How did the Evil Thrombus and the Ninja of Inflammation arrived  td REM inc and tries to sabotage it with dynamite and explosives? Let me first explain about this nuclear power plant, which turns REM on and off and its importance for the human´s good sleep.

Why do we need energy to sleep?

Inside the Nervous System, under the brain, going to the neck, there is a nuclear power plant that feeds on a fuel called dopamine. You will wonder why does the Nervous System needs to generate such an amount of energy. Probably the most surprising thing is the answer: To sleep. This is how this nuclear power plant has the specific function of pressing an on / off button of something called REM. Let’s explain a bit more. What do the initials REM mean? It comes from the English “rapid eye movement”.

Before start talking about the plan of the Evil Thrombus and the Ninja of Inflammation to sabotage this plant, it is important to understand the importance of REM. You probably experience it every night and you have not stopped on what lies behind. We have all had a dream once, being taken to fantastic worlds, some pleasant and some distressing (nightmares). It is true that we dream every night and it is normal not to remember. This imagery is mainly generated in a deep sleep stage called REM, because in this stage the eyes move from side to side. We are understanding that we need energy to generate these imaginary worlds. The importance of this dreaming has to do with regulating emotional processes, cleaning debris from neurons and improving the function of our muscles.

There is something else, which you probably overlook: When dreaming that we run, it is expected not to run out of bed. If so, we would go to the ground every night, hit our nightstands or, worse, our partner, in bed. Then the Nervous System must turn off the muscles. Another action that requires energy.

The Eye: Guardian of REM inc.

The plant is managed and cared for by The Eye. He uses a cane to help him walk because he has only one limb to move. It’s like a pink tail. He watches REM every night and is in charge of activating the REM on off button. If you don’t activate it, guess: Problems for the human! We have already seen the consequences of not turning off the muscles when dreaming. The Eye is also responsible for fueling the two large gray fireplaces with the radiation symbol on them. Do not worry, we are not in danger ofradioation poisoning from these plants, just consider it an artistic resource (I consider this symbol very well achieved, I am impressed by its simplicity). Well, let’s go back to the story. It´s ime to talk about the origin of the fuel: Dopamine.

The fuel.

The Nervous System requires large amounts of dopamine, the fuel that enables it to function. This valuable compound works by fulfilling various functions, among which are: Motivation, emotions, movement and muscular coordination and intervenes in maintaining a stable sleep. And where does this valuable compound come from? In the human body the dopamine factory is found in the adrenal glands, which are located over the kidneys. This very efficient factory needs the human being to have a balanced diet from which they will obtain iron and tyrosine. And there we have dopamine!

The Ninja and the inflammation.

Ok and let’s go back to the sabotage plan: We know that the plant requires dopamine: One way to get a shortage of it is through poor nutrition. But there is another way to decrease dopamine: Stress and inflammation. The adrenal gland factory produces dopamine but not only for REM inc, but also for example to run away when we are afraid and when we get sick. Let’s call all of the above inflammation. And this is how the Ninja works: Sowing fear, anxiety, getting sick with poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and much more. What happens is that to counteract the above, dopamine must be transformed into norepinephrine. The consequences? Less dopamine for REM inc, therefore less REM on off and alteration of the muscular tone when sleeping. Every time we incorporate the harmful things mentioned into our lives, we sacrifice dopamine for other functions.

The Thrombus and the explosives.

The other member of this evil plan is the Thrombus: This is not discreet. It acts in alliance with the Ninja. The latter weakens the human and leaves the ground with his defenses weakened (an Eye that uses a cane would not be an opponent for these evildoers) so that the former can install his explosive, which when exploiting the result would be a thrombosis with the consequent stroke and destruction of the nuclear power plant.


The message is that our bodies require fuel to function during the day, as well as to sleep. Sleep is an active process, where turning off the muscles and starting the dream process depends on structures in our Nervous System that are fully functioning. And we come back to a cliche-sounding message: Exercise yourself, eat healthy, seek your emotional well-being, and rest your body and mind. I hope that now you understand better why.

Related story: Neuron and Dopamine.

This entry was posted in Sleep disorders 🧠👀 and tagged , .

Post author: Silvio

Mi nombre es Andrés Silva, soy de Santiago de Chile. Neurólogo, autor y emprendedor.

6 thoughts on “REM On Off

  1. Silvio
    Roberto Silva - 1 year ago

    Muy buena la explicación y la enseñanza, no sabía por ejemplo que el cuerpo también necesitaba energía para dormir por las funciones que se llevan a cabo durante el sueño

    1. Silvio
      Silvio - 1 year ago

      Gracias por comentar!

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