By Headways Performance Group
Are you feeling overwhelmed and unhappy? Do you crave carbs and binge eat? Maybe you have sleep issues and feel angry and irritable throughout the day. If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from serotonin deficiency.
Serotonin plays many important roles in the brain’s biochemistry and is intimately involved in maintaining an upbeat mood, regulating your appetite, boosting self-confidence, and sustaining the body’s sleep cycles.
Unfortunately, far too many people don’t naturally produce enough serotonin. In fact, women produce 52% less serotonin than men.
Inadequate serotonin is linked to depression, mood issues, negative behaviours, unhealthy sleep patterns, and many other physical and mental problems.
A couple of ways to naturally boost your serotonin include:
- Making sure that you get 10–30 minutes of sunlight each day. Vitamin D helps maintain your body’s natural sleep cycle by converting serotonin to melatonin, the main sleep hormone. Also, Canadian researchers discovered a link between depression and a lack of Vitamin D. The lower the Vitamin D level, the greater the chance of depression. Ensuring that you get enough Vit D is essential to preventing diseases like heart disease, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
- It’s also important to improve your gut health. It’s estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. If you are eating a poor diet that doesn’t support good gut health, you are reducing the amount of serotonin production in your body. It’s also important to supplement your diet with a good quality prebiotic and probiotic that helps feed the good bacteria in your gut and crowds out the bad and harmful bacteria that keeps your body from producing serotonin.
- Get consistent, good sleep. Often, people with mood disorders have sleep issues. Some simple sleep hacks are to avoid watching TV or looking at devices about an hour prior to bed. The blue light from these modern devices stops the production of melatonin which helps you fall and stay asleep. Aim for 7–8 hours of sleep a night to function at your best.
- Reduce your stress. Stress totally messes with your brain and can damage the neurons that produce serotonin. Additionally, stress causes inflammation in your body, which is bad news for your mental and physical health. Make sure to prioritize your self-care and other stress-reduction tactics which can go a long way to help your brain and body work at its peak.
Improving your mental wellness is all about making choices on a daily that support your mind, body and brain in producing enough serotonin so that you thrive in all that you do.
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