Sleep, Serotonin Production, And Natural Supplements?
|Sleep, Serotonin Production, And Natural Supplements?||Darrell Miller||09/22/11|
September 22, 2011 04:17 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (email@example.com)
Subject: Sleep, Serotonin Production, And Natural Supplements?
What Is Serotonin?
Serotonin is an essential brain chemical or neurotransmitter because of its role in regulating sleeping and waking cycles. Being a neurotransmitter, it is a substance which is designed to send messages through our nerve cells. The main function of serotonin is to maintain mental and especially emotional processes in the body. In other words it basically is the one responsible for letting us know whether we are happy or sad today.
It also has other functions in the body such as regulating blood pressure levels and also findings from various studies suggest that serotonin also has a direct link to appetite because it also is the substance that tells the body it is hungry. This is also one of the reasons why you see a lot of smokers that are thin because nicotine is directly related to lowered serotonin levels in the body.
Sleep and Serotonin
There have been a long standing unanswered list of questions regarding the comprehension of sleep and its cycles and even in the modern world we still have not fully understood sleep. Through the years though, many researches have shown a link between serotonin and sleep cycles. It seemed like it is able to influence it in such a way that when there are high levels of serotonin, wakefulness is experienced and when there are low levels of serotonin the effects are also the opposite and the need of sleep is experienced.
One angle that they are looking at is serotonin’s essentiality in the production of melatonin after it is synthesized in the pineal gland because melatonin is a hormone which is well known for its sleep inducing properties. This is evident since melatonin supplementation, aside from various researches, have been used to aid in the relief of people suffering from sleep disorders.
Other studies have even confirmed through results that low serotonin levels are associated with insomnia sufferers. In terms of causes of low serotonin levels in the body there are a variety of possible causes and to name a few we have stress which is also the most common, constant travel could also be a possible reason and erratic sleep also another. To counter these effects we could consume foods high in tryptophan like high carbohydrate foods and a couple of examples are potatoes and grains.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which is considered to be a precursor of serotonin thus also making tryptophan an integral part of sleep induction. Aside from food intake of tryptophan rich foods we could also look at supplementation as a possible answer to increasing tryptophan levels in the body. In recent studies though the substance derived from tryptophan which is 5-HTP has been shown to also be effective in boosting brain serotonin levels.
It has long been used for other medicinal purposes like treating depression, weight loss and sleep disorders however it is now emerging as having a key role in increasing serotonin levels more because it seemed to have a more potent effect compared to other synthetic drugs used to treat serotonin deficiency.