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Norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline, is widely distributed throughout your brain and body. It operates as a neuromodulator that boosts the function of many different cell types to optimize your brain’s performance. This is accomplished via two modes of norepinephrine release: burst and tonic firing. Through burst firing, NE takes part in your ancient and elegant fight-or-flight survival mechanism, providing rapid and accurate assessment of danger and opportunity. Excessive burst firing of NE, logically, especially if no actual life-threatening danger exists, can leave you anxious, vigilant, hyperactive, miserable and annoying to be around.
Conversely, tonic low grade NE firing exerts beneficial effects on sleep, sustainable concentration, stress resilience, inflammation and many other important biological processes. Too little tonic firing of norepinephrine can leave you flat, apathetic, foggy, unmotivated, fatigued, miserable and no fun to be around.