10 Hormones and Neurotransmitters Vital for Good Sleep
Health for your soul:
To get good sleep is a mixture of many things, and in this article you will learn about the internal stuff — hormones and neurotransmitters. In other articles I have discussed the importance of aligning your circadian rhythm and The 7 Pillars of a Perfect Sleep Environment. Because hormones and neurotransmitters are your internal environment, realize that some you can impact directly while others its best to be indirect through good habits and good nutrition. This part is relatively straightforward since it is a matter of understanding what affects what, and if you need more help then check out my article on 20 resources for better sleep.
It’s All About Balance
Our first priority with the topic at hand is understanding how to interpret an imbalance in the first place. It’s important to know that hormones and neurotransmitters are several steps down the chemical chain, which means you have to have good knowledge of the basics I discuss in the 5 Pillars of Optimal Health and also to listen to your body and understand what it’s telling you. Unfortunately, it can be a real balancing act getting everything into alignment or even discerning who the culprits are, since nearly everything will affect your sleep in some way or another.
Nevertheless, with the right actions in place you can minimize your deviations and regain peace of mind over time and this is what counts.
Besides sleep, each of these important chemicals also affect other aspects of your life like motivation, mood, energy and metabolism, so this is a very important area to keep in alignment in general. While there are many hormones and brain chemicals that dance around in your body every day, our focus for these chapters will be cortisol, melatonin, growth hormone, thyroid hormones, serotonin, dopamine, GABA and histamine. Some of these you are probably a little familiar with, and others you probably have heard of or read about. We will outline their roles briefly in this article so that you understand their impact on your sleep, as well as how to intervene with the action items presented.