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The Head Center and Pineal Gland in Human Design

head-center-physiology

All three gates in the Head Center - gate 64, gate 61, and gate 63 - are physiologically connected to the Pineal Gland, which is located deep near the center of the brain.


The Head Center is a pressure center, which means it's under pressure to understand, think, seek, and figure something out. The Head is the center for inspiration, questions, doubts, and mysteries. The Head Center is trying to move energy toward the Ajna Center so we can bring our genius out into the world!


Undefined Head Center Wisdom

When your Head Center is open or undefined, you're taking in the energy of the Head Center from the people you're around. You're able to feel and sense this mental energy.


You're here to become wise about the themes of the Head Center because it's something you're constantly filtering, depending on who you're around and where the transits are. You can potentially become so wise about this center that you can tell which channel or gate the person has defined in their Head Center.


Gate 64 is under pressure to make sense of a constant flow of data that continually recycles through the mind. It wants to resolve Confusion.


Gate 61 is the pressure to know, to unravel the mystery, and to recognize the moment your inner truth pops in.


Gate 63 is pressure to have doubt and think about things with a healthy sense of skepticism. There's a pressure to ask, "Why?"

I personally have noticed gate 63 is the easiest head gate for me to notice in someone, not only in their words, but I also notice the skepticism in their body language and facial expressions.


Someone with an undefined Head Center is here to inspire others. In the not-self, you're caught in doubt and confusion thinking about things that don’t matter.


Defined Head Center

When you're Head Center is defined, you are broadcasting outwardly the theme of whatever channel(s) and gate you have defined, and you impact others with this theme of the Head definition.


The Pineal Gland makes Melatonin

The pineal gland in the head produces the hormone melatonin and plays a role in the circadian rhythm of every biological process in the body that follow a daily pattern, including our sleep-wake cycle. This is an EXTREMELY important function in life!


When it's dark, the pineal gland is stimulated to release melatonin, which signals to the body it's time to sleep. When the pineal gland perceives light, it decreases melatonin so the body wakes up.


Poor Sleep Impacts Your Appetite, Weight, and Much More

Just one night of poor sleep will negatively impact your health!

  • Poor sleep increases hunger hormones that control appetite. Research shows if you're sleep deprived you are much more likely to consume more calories compared to days you aren't tired.

  • Poor sleep will increase sugar cravings.

  • Poor sleep negatively effects how your body metabolizes glucose, potentially creating elevated blood sugar levels. That causes inflammation.

  • Poor sleep is also linked to dysbiosis – an imbalance in the gut microbiome.

  • Poor sleep weakens the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections and illnesses. Adequate sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the immune response. If you have an Undefined Spleen, consider your sleep quality to support your immune health.

  • Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.


All these factors negatively impact overall well-being and results in a higher likelihood of weight gain.

You must fix sleep first and foremost if you want to improve the health of your pineal gland.

Mental Health and the Pineal Gland in the Head Center

Mental health and pineal gland function have a bidirectional relationship. This means mental health issues can contribute to poor sleep, and conversely, poor sleep can negatively impact mental health. On a positive note, good sleep supports healthy brain function.


Anxiety and persistent thoughts (monkey mind) can interfere with the ability to relax and fall asleep, potentially impacting melatonin production. If melatonin isn't working properly, this impacts sleep and your circadian rhythm.


Anxiety activates the body's stress response, leading to the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Chronic stress and anxiety can impact the balance of neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain, potentially influencing pineal gland function and therefore disrupting sleep. Stress reducing activities, mindfulness practices, and meditation all positively influence the pineal gland.


Sleep plays a crucial role in emotional regulation, and disruptions in sleep patterns can contribute to mood disturbances. Whether you have a defined or undefined Solar Plexus, being exhausted can really amplify your emotions or sensitivity to emotions. You may find you cry easily when you're exhausted (I do) because your nervous system is less capable of tolerating life in general.


Environmental factors like ambient light and blue light from screens also affect pineal gland function and sleep quality. Limit bluelight from screens before bedtime as much as possible.


Nutrition to Support Sleep and the Pineal Glands

Specific foods or supplements are not guaranteed to directly improve pineal gland health, but certain nutrients and lifestyle practices will support overall brain health and potentially contribute to a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Here are some suggestions, and at the end of this blog are links to all recommended supplements at a smokin' price!


1. Tryptophan-Rich Foods

Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which, in turn, contributes to melatonin production. Foods rich in tryptophan include turkey, chicken, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.


2. B-Vitamins or a B-complex Supplement

There are 8 types of B vitamins and they all work together to keep your brain functioning properly. In fact, B vitamins support normal brain development from the time you are in your mother’s womb.


The B vitamins support healthy energy levels, promote a positive mind, and protect the health of our brain long-term. A deficiency can contribute to impaired cognition. B vitamins are also required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters Vitamin B6 is specifically involved in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. Foods high in vitamin B6 include poultry, fish, potatoes, and bananas.


3. Magnesium-Rich Foods or Magnesium Supplement

Magnesium is crucial for SO MANY physiological processes, including sleep! It helps the muscles relax, regulates the nervous system to calm the mind, helps enhance the activity of GABA receptors, is necessary for the conversion of tryptophan to melatonin and so much more. Good sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, very dark chocolate and cacao, and whole grains.


4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids or an Omega-3 Supplement

This is a foundational nutrient for the brain! The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, found in fish oil, have been found to exhibit a neuroprotective effect, and supplementation has been shown to improve cognitive function. EPA and DHA are also linked to a larger brain size!


Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts.


I love this fish oil product by Nordic Naturals. I take 1 Tbsp off the spoon every morning. Here's the scientific reason why I take fish oil or cod liver oil every morning.


5. Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Antioxidants protect the brain from oxidative stress. Berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.), turmeric, and colorful vegetables are high in antioxidants.


6. Sleep-Support Supplements

I have had a ton of luck using Quicksilver's Liposomal L-Theanine and GABA before bedtime.

GABA is the body’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter. It supports emotional balance and healthy stress response. L-theanine is an amino acid that supports relaxation and mood. Together, L-Theanine and GABA help relax the brain for better sleep.


My Real Life Experience with an Open Head Center

I have a completely open Head Center. Sleep quality is something I'm always working on!

I require at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Artificial light and blue light from screens really interfere with my ability to fall sleep and get into a deep sleep state.


When I settle down for sleep, I often start thinking about trivial things that don't matter (the head's not-self). If I can't fall asleep, but I'm in a relaxed state, I find myself dwelling on hypothetical scenarios that have yet to occur, particularly concerning personal safety. Questions like this tend to dominate my thoughts: "How will I protect myself if someone breaks into my house right now?" or "What's my escape plan from my 2nd floor bedroom if there's a fire?"


To avoid the monkey mind, I have found reading a book until I fall asleep is an effective and much more peaceful way to fall asleep. Also, as a Manifesting Generator, I always sleep better when I exercise during the day to use up more energy.


I have always had wild dreams, and I often remember them when I wake up. When I occasionally use supplemental melatonin, I sleep really soundly. I also like to supplement with Quicksilver's Liposomal L-Theanine and GABA.


If I let myself "live" in my head, I can feel confused, doubt myself, and overwhelmed by possibilities. Feeling back into my body and following my Sacral Authority has resolved this feeling of living in my head quite easily.

Staying in my body and following my Sacral Authority feels like the medicine for my open Head Center.

Let's Hear From You

What is your human design Head Center configuration (open, undefined, defined, channel, hanging gate)? How is your sleep quality, sleep hygiene, and sleeping environment? Keep in mind, the head and pineal gland is a great place to start when trying to improve your sleep quality, but other things in your design can also impact sleep, such as Type, the Sacral Center, Splenic Center, and G Center, but .

Human Design pairs seamlessly with Health and Nutrition, and I have found it extremely helpful for merging well-being with mind, body, and spirit!

Thanks for reading! I love hearing from you, so feel free to leave me a question or comment.


Products Mentioned in this Blog


Quicksilver Scientific is the top brand for liposomal products. Liposomal means the nutrition is encapsulated in fat so it can bypass digestion and be transported to where the body needs it. GABA and L-Theanine are very calming. I have had amazing success supporting my sleep using this about 15-30 minutes before going to bed. The flavor is fine. Put a few pumps in your mouth, let it sit there for 30 seconds, and that's it!




Nordic Naturals is very high quality fish oil, and at a reasonable price point. I never burp the taste of fish, even if I exercise after taking it. It tastes like lemon, and if you drink it with water, it goes down easily.










Seeking Health is a very high quality, reputable brand. This provides eight B vitamins with the most bioavailable, active forms of folate, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and B6. The bodily can easily absorb and use these forms.










You can only buy Designs for Health products through a practitioner - me :)

I really like this magnesium powder as a nightcap mocktail. One serving is 300 mg of magnesium in an easy-to-mix powder. The forms of the three types of magnesium are ideal too: Magnesium Orotate, Magnesium Glycerophosphate, and Magnesium Bisglycinate.








Much Love,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

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