neurotransmitters

5 Neurotransmitters That Help You Sleep (And How to Increase Them) – Do you ever have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep? If so, neurotransmitters might be to blame. Your body uses 5 neurotransmitters during sleep, which help decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and makes it easier to stay asleep throughout the night. Read on to find out more about these helpful neurotransmitters and how you can increase them!

1 – Get more natural light to forget the melatonin


Light helps regulate the sleep hormone cortisol. When it’s light outside, your body produces less cortisol, which makes you feel more awake. At night, when it’s dark, your body produces more cortisol, which makes you feel sleepy. Exposure to natural light during the day will help you sleep better at night by regulating your production of serotonin and melatonin. If you’re sleep deprived, don’t forget to check out these 5 neurotransmitters that help people sleep.

Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter. It regulates mood, appetite, and sleep patterns as well as other bodily functions like bowel movements. Serotonin is also believed to make up for sleep deprivation or interruptions in sleep because it can cause what is called sleep spindles in the brain – a type of brainwave often seen in those who are falling asleep or waking up – which may be caused by increased neural activity while sleeping.

The serotonergic system forms a diffuse network within the central nervous system and plays a significant role in the regulation of mood and cognition. Manipulation of tryptophan levels, acutely or chronically, by depletion or supplementation, is an experimental procedure for modifying peripheral and central serotonin levels.

This system of research has enabled us to pinpoint the role of serotonin in high-level brain functioning in both preclinical and clinical settings. It has resulted in a finding that a deficit in serotonin may lead to bad memory and depressed mood. The gut-brain axis is a bi-directional connection between the brain and the digestive tract. An influence of gut microbiota on behavior is becoming increasingly evident, as is the extension to tryptophan and serotonin, producing a possibility that alterations in the gut may be important in the pathophysiology of human central nervous system disorders. In this review, we will discuss the effect of manipulating tryptophan on mood and cognition and discuss a possible influence on the gut-brain axis.

First thing at night (if you can, turn your bedroom lights to red) when you wake up in the morning get your AC off and get as much sunlight as possible to kill melatonin and increase cortisol.

2- Dopamine & How It Helps You Sleep


When you think of dopamine, pleasure, and addiction are usually the first two reactions. But think again. Well, dream again: The neurotransmitter plays a role in activating sleepy dreams.

Researchers found that increased levels of dopamine in an important part of the brain helped mice make the transition from non-rapid eye movement, or NREM, to REM sleep, the portion of the night where your dreams typically happen. A team led by the University of Tsukuba published its findings this month in the journal Science.

The findings could point to a new drug target for REM sleep disorders and potentially Parkinson’s disease because dopamine signaling is disrupted in that neurodegenerative condition, neurology professors from Harvard and the University of California wrote in a related perspective piece.

Melatonin can reduce but may not be the best choice do to lose of REM sleep.

3 – Seritonine & How It Affects Your NightTime Neurotransmitters


The serotonergic system plays a role in behaviors that involve a high cognitive demand. Serotonin receptors are found in brain regions involved in learning and memory including the cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus [24]. As drug targets for cognitive improvement or enhancement, serotonin receptors have received attention with a focus on several serotonin-receptor subtypes shown to be involved in cognition and memory. Converging evidence suggests that the administration of 5-HT2A/2C or 5-HT4 receptor agonists or 5-HT1A or 5HT3 and 5-HT1B receptor antagonists prevents memory impairment and facilitates learning in situations involving a high cognitive demand. In contrast, receptor antagonists for 5-HT2A/2C and 5-HT4, or agonists for 5-HT1A or 5-HT3 and 5-HT1B generally have opposite effects on memory and learning [25,26,27,28,29,30].

Whether serotonin plays a role in modulating cognitive function through specific effects on learning, memory, and executive function is still not understood. This may be attributed partially to the differing roles of various serotonin receptor subtypes in cognition [30]. However, lowering central serotonin levels through tryptophan depletion experimentally has enabled some elucidation of the role of serotonin in different modes of learning.

5-HTP has been suggested at night time to increase serotonin – read more.

Dopamine – Bonus. How This Neurotransmitter Helps You Dream

When you think of dopamine, pleasure, and addiction are usually the first two reactions. But think again. Well, dream again: The neurotransmitter plays a role in activating sleepy dreams.

Researchers found that increased levels of dopamine in an important part of the brain helped mice a team led by the University of Tsukuba published its findings this month in the journal Science on how to shift from non-rapid eye movement, or NREM, to REM sleep, the period when dreams typically occur.

The findings could point to a new drug target for REM sleep disorders and potentially Parkinson’s disease because dopamine signaling is disrupted in that neurodegenerative condition, neurology professors from Harvard and the University of California wrote in a related perspective piece.

In mice with the sleeping disorder, researchers at the Japanese university found dopamine levels in the basolateral amygdala increased before the muscle weakness attacks.

The researchers used optogenetic manipulation, in which they help excite light-sensitive ion channels to manipulate neurons to excite the dopamine fibers in the basolateral amygdala when the mice were in NREM sleep. That caused the animals to switch to REM sleep, they found. The brain region communicates with other parts of the brain that impact cognition, motivation, and stress responses.

One commonly used treatment to help relieve sleeping disorders is melatonin, which works by regulating the biological clock. The neurohormone interacts with cellular receptors to ease the sleep-wake cycle.

Researchers at the University of Southern California mapped the structures behind the two key melatonin receptors, MT1 and MT2. The findings led to a better understanding of how to design druglike molecules that would bind to one receptor rather than both so it minimizes unwanted side effects.

Neurotransmitters & Hormones – Yeah, It’s Super Important

Researchers have used pharmacological and behavioral approaches to demonstrate that sex steroid hormones are critical for mediating effects on synaptic plasticity, memory, mood, and cognition. A number of studies took advantage of selective pharmacological tools and knockout mice to elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind electrophysiological and behavioral effects.

Many of the underlying mechanisms involve non-genomic action on presynaptic receptors such as D1 receptors, NMDA receptors, and GABAA receptors. Also, sex hormones affect multiple levels at the same time, as do the interacting neurotransmitter systems.

Depending on the neurotransmitter system, sex hormone can exhibit facilitative, excitatory or suppressive, inhibitory effects on neurotransmission. For instance, progesterone has been shown to suppress the excitatory glutamate response (Hausmann and Gunturkun, 2000) and facilitates GABAergic neurotransmission through its action at GABAA receptors (van Wingen et al., 2008), while estrogen exhibits facilitating effects on glutamate transmission (Smith and Woolley, 2004) and suppress GABA inhibitory inputs.

The promoting effect of estrogen on glutamatergic neurotransmission, especially at NMDA receptors (Gazzaley et al., 1996; Woolley et al., 1997; Adams et al., 2004), precedes synaptic plasticity and subsequently learning and memory (Foy et al., 1999).

Furthermore, estrogen is known to promote dopamine release in the striatum, which might be mediated by the inhibitory effect of estrogen on GABA release, as dopamine terminals are influenced by GABAergic inputs.

Thus, a decrease in inhibitory tone might facilitate DA release. This interaction between excitation and inhibition modulated by sex hormones is a key factor for understanding how sex hormones impact neuronal activity in the brain. Estrogen may produce its mentioned effects on cognition and mood, especially through modulation of serotonergic function (Epperson et al., 2012b). Estrogen can increase serotonin levels and decrease 5-HT reuptake (Koldzic-Zivanovic et al., 2004), which allows 5-HT to remain longer in the synaptic cleft and exhibit prolonged effects on postsynaptic receptors.

Test your neurotransmitters here, females check your hormones here, and if you are a male wanting to know more about your hormones check here.

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