In psychology, "parasympathetic rebound" refers to a physiological response that occurs after the body's parasympathetic nervous system has been suppressed or inhibited. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for controlling the body's "rest and digest" functions, and it acts in opposition to the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the "fight or flight" response. When the parasympathetic nervous system is suppressed or inhibited, it can lead to an increase in sympathetic activity. When the suppression or inhibition is then removed, the parasympathetic system can "rebound," leading to an increase in parasympathetic activity.
Here are a few examples of situations in which parasympathetic rebound might occur:
After experiencing high levels of stress: When an individual experiences high levels of stress, their sympathetic nervous system can be activated, leading to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and other physiological responses. When the stressor is removed and the individual begins to relax, the parasympathetic system may "rebound," leading to a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure.
After taking certain medications: Some medications, such as beta blockers, can inhibit the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. When an individual stops taking these medications, their parasympathetic system may "rebound," leading to an increase in parasympathetic activity.
After experiencing extreme physical activity: When an individual engages in extreme physical activity, such as vigorous exercise, their sympathetic nervous system can be activated. When the activity is stopped, the parasympathetic system may "rebound," leading to an increase in parasympathetic activity.