Here’s the facts: we don’t get enough of the healthy serotonin boosters in our diets; which leads to blah-feelings, we are outside less than we should be, we sleep odd or too few hours, and we simply do not move enough.
All of these things cause our body and gut serotonin levels to get out of balance, and that leads to disease and depression.
I believe there is a natural way for us to feel great more often.
What we do, literally, behaviorally, has a major impact on serotonin levels. For example, stressing, feeding, and exercise have been shown to have marked affects on serotonin levels in rats. This study shows that sleep and exercise are directly impacting serotonin. After all, one of serotonin’s purposes in our bodies is as a sedative. Its not surprising that Serotonin is regulating our energy.
It’s well established that exercise can boost our moods and make us feel better. One way in which this occurs is by increasing serotonin. Exercise is a cheap way to boost blood and brain serotonin levels immediately, making it a good alternative to other ways of dealing with stress and depression.
Exercise also regenerates neurons. Our brain cells can and do regenerate, albeit slowly. Increased levels of exercise have been shown to increase neuron production, giving our brains a better ability to utilize serotonin, and that improves our moods. Exercise also allows our brains cells to function better by making them more flexible, leading to better responses to all neurotransmitters, including serotonin.
Sleep is even more important when it comes to serotonin. People have been studying the connection between serotonin and sleeping behaviors for over 60 years. We know that changes in serotonin levels have marked impact on sleeping, with decreases in serotonin leading to apnea or other sleep problems. Only recently, however; have we realized the opposite is true, lack of sleep negatively affects our brains neuronal signaling, and response to serotonin.
Sleep deprivation has been shown to desensitize serotonin pathways. Consistent lack of sleep negatively impacts our brain’s response to serotonin in general. This means that consistent healthy sleeping patterns are key to maintaining healthy serotonin signaling in our brains and in our bodies starting with our gut and what we eat; and continuing with exercise, movement.
Exercise improves sleep, which in turn improves your ability to use Serotonin. Exercise outdoors regularly, because light triggers serotonin. Scientists discovered the connection between light and serotonin almost accidentally. They looked at levels of serotonin in recently-dead people, and found higher concentrations of serotonin in those who died in the summer, instead of the winter. That got doctors thinking. It is an established fact that many people have seasonal changes in mood; with more depression occurring during the cold, dark winter than in the warm, sunny summer. Increasing light levels also helps treat non-seasonal depression.
Scientists have since found that serotonin levels in healthy men are directly correlated to the amount of sunlight in the day, with marked increases as the seasons changed and the sun’s intensity rose; and other research has found strong connections between light and serotonin function. This suggests that a walk in the sun, or getting away on vacation to somewhere sunny during the darker months may naturally boost your serotonin levels.
There are other behavioral ways to change serotonin levels. Evidence suggests that our own emotions and moods affect serotonin levels. Boost your mood and outlook with positive thoughts and conversation. Our thoughts do matter! Things you can try:
Talking to Friends
Counseling and Lifestlye Coaching
At PHASE IV we use science to create comprehensive daily metabolic nutrition and exercise programs for people of all ages and abilities. We provide the whole solution to your nutrition and exercise needs based on facts and scientific testing, not opinions or fads. We are on the forefront of evidenced based training, rehabilitation, and treatment programs.