Sleep is a natural state of bodily rest observed throughout the animal kingdom. It is common to all mammals and birds, and is also seen in many reptiles, amphibians and fish.
In humans, other mammals, and a substantial majority of other animals which have been studied — such as fish, birds, ants, and fruit-flies — regular sleep is essential for survival. However its purposes are only partly clear and are the subject of intense research (1). Sleep timing is controlled by the circadian clock, by homeostasis and, in humans, by willed behavior.
Scientists have shown numerous ways in which sleep is related to memory. In a study conducted by Turner, Drummond, Salamat, and Brown (2) working memory was shown to be affected by sleep deprivation. Working memory is important because it keeps information active for further processing and supports higher-level cognitive functions such as decision making, reasoning, and episodic memory.
There are a great many possible reasons for sleeping poorly. Following sleephygienic principles may solve problems of physical or emotional discomfort (3). When pain, illness, drugs or stress are the culprit, the cause must be treated. Sleep disorders, including the sleep apneas, narcolepsy, primary insomnia, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), restless leg syndrome (RLS) and the circadian rhythm sleep disorders, are treatable.
Elderly people may to some degree lose the ability to consolidate sleep. They need the same amount per day as they've always needed, but may need to take some of their sleep as daytime naps.
Tryptophan -- or L Tryptophan -- is an essential amino acid found in foods that contain protein such as turkey, fish, and meat. Tryptophan is able to convert into 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-tryptophan), and then to serotonin. Serotonin is involved in mood, appetite, sleep and impulse control.
L-tryptophan converts into 5-HTP, which then readily converts into serotonin. Once serotonin is made, the pineal gland is able to convert it at night into melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
Thus, Serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine) is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan, and found in the cells of the central nervous system, in blood vessels, but mostly in the intestine (90%). In the central nervous system, serotonin is a key neurotransmitter. In the blood vessels, it is released from platelets when blood vessel walls are damaged. In the intestine, serotonin causes increased gastrointestinal motility and is related to vomiting, secretion and peristalsis and it is known as autacoid
Production and Distribution of 5-HT:
It is produced primarily by
1. Enterochromaffin cells in GIT
2. Platelets in high concentration
3. Neural, high concentration in brain stem in dorsal Raphe Nuclei.
Physiological & Pharmacological Functions of serotonin:
1. May play a role in hemostats and causes vasoconstriction in vascular beds, therefore, it is important in certain vaspastic diseases.
2. In platelet aggregations
3. Regulation of GIT motility, stimulation of GIT motility
4. CNS neurotransmitter.
5. May play a significant role in sleep function
6. May play an important role in regulation of behavior
7. Regulation of mood
8. Regulation of appetite
9. Regulation of emotional processing
10. Regulation of pain processing
11. Nausea & Vomiting
12. Blood pressure regulation.
13. Temperature regulation.
Food rich in 5-HT:
Banana, dates, pineapples, plums and nuts
Serotonin levels can be altered through consumption of food, vitamins, sunlight or through exercise.
Sleep is essential to reconstruct lost body-protein and to decompose and deport wastes from the body. Also, when you are asleep, body-fat is transformed into available energy, to support the processes mentioned above.
Cholesterol is an essential nutrient; 10 to 20% of the brain is composed of cholesterol, and vitamin D and the sex hormones are also composed of cholesterol. That's why the body needs sufficient cholesterol all the time.
And to make sure you consume sufficient 'clean' cholesterol, your body warns you if you don't; through causing depressions and mood-swings (4-6).
A number of scientific investigations have proved that in people trying to commit suicide, cholesterol-level is lower (7-13).
Cholesterol-products like progesterone, estradiol and testosterone increase serotonine-receptor activity (14-16). Low cholesterol level decreases serotonine-receptor activity (17-19) and feeling happy is partly regulated through serotonin-receptors in the brain (20, 21). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter not just regulating feelings of happiness, but also the ability to fall asleep, and partly influences cognitive abilities, pain, fear and appetite (22-24). Fibers in wheat (25), potato, maize (26), oat, rice (27), pea and soybean (28) inhibit cholesterol absorption, what can induce depression and sleepless. Logically, bad-functioning ovaries (producing progesterone and estradiol) can also cause depressions.
To make sure you absorb sufficient cholesterol, consume some fresh raw egg yolk every day (mixed with avocado for example);it will make you sleep like a baby. The eggs should be fresh and should be obtained from hens fed natural foods only (like raw grains and grass).
Sugar for example is as essential as cholesterol is; sugars are the main source of energy for the brain and muscles; dietary sugars (sucrose, starch, and even most fructose) are mainly transformed into glucose. To assure sufficient sugars are consumed, glucose is essential in composing serotonin, ‘the happy-maker';
Serotonin is composed of tryptophan, an amino acid. (protein commonly is composed of 18 different amino acids) When blood-glucose level is low, muscles and organs do not absorb amino acids from the blood for maintenance. And among all those other amino acids, it is much harder for the brain to pick up tryptophan. Glucose stimulates amino acid absorption by the muscles and organs, and therefore tryptophan absorption by the brain. (29, 30) The sweet taste of sugar and honey is the promise of happiness and quiet sleep without any disturbances
Fat is as essential as cholesterol and sugars are; Fats are the main source of energy for the heart and the colon. To assure sufficient fat is consumed, a particular fatty acid, oleamide, is required to activate serotonin receptors. Making oleamide, and therefore fat, essential to fall asleep. (31, 32)
The insomnia and wake up in the middle of the night for no reason; consume something both fat and sweet, like raisins with butter. It will probably improve sleeping and overcome the insomnia
Too Much Protein
But yes, being grumpy, you first need to make sure your diet contains sufficient clean cholesterol, -fat and sugars. However, consuming too little essential nutrients is not the only cause;
Consuming too much proteinous food in general, can also cause depressions and sleeplessness. Here are the reasons why;
- To transform tryptophan into serotonin, vitamin B6 is required, as cofactor to activate decarboxylase enzyme which is essential in the biosynthesis serotonin and other neurotransmitters and some autacoids .
Consuming more protein than you need requires extra vitamin B6 (and B2 and folic acid). Consuming too much proteinous food inhibits serotonin production.
- Consuming too much increases blood-amino acid levels, making it harder for the brain to specifically pick up tryptophan. The amino acid phenylalanine inhibits serotonin production, through inhibiting decarboxylation of 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophane into serotonin.
- Consuming too much protein increases blood-phenylalanine level. The amino acid phenylalanine inhibits serotonin production, through inhibiting decarboxylation of 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophane into serotonin.
- Consuming too much protein increases blood-leucine level. The amino acid leucine enhances tryptophan-pyrrolase, irreversibly decomposing tryptophan. Unfortunately, the liver can
not decompose leucine, tissues like muscles can.
- Prepared food contains lots of beta-carbolines (33-39) inhibiting tryptophan transport by albumin (40). Free tryptophan not transported by albumin does not reach the brain and is decomposed. Especially consuming prepared proteinous food induce depression and sleepless.
- Besides methionine (an other amino acid) ,tryptophan is easily damaged by heat. Every time food is re-heated, tryptophan gets lost.
- Beta-carbolines from prepared food can occupy serotonine receptors (41), because many beta-carbolines are composed of tryptophan (or its amines ; serotonin and tryptamine) ; the basic properties are equal.
- Beta-carbolines from prepared food can directly disturb sleep through blocking benzodiazepine receptors. (42-45).
- Beta-carbolines from prepared food can also disturb sleep by causing stress through the noradrenergic system. (46-48).
Consume as much fruit, and sashimi or fresh raw egg yolk (gently stirred through a fruit shake for example), instead of prepared food. And especially do not consume prepared food at night, to prevent prolonged digestion to impair sleep. And Waking up late also causes depression and sleepless too ;
The Human body is strongly influenced by daylight ; when the sun has set, serotonin is transformed into melatonin. When the sun rises, this process stops, if not asleep. That's why everybody is much more happy in the summertime, providing us with much more daylight (49, 50). If you are depressed or sleepless; wake up when the sun rises. Optimum melatonin production requires optimum serotonin production. Logically, also impaired melatonin production comes with depressions and sleeplessness (51, 52). Optimum melatonin metabolism also prevents prolactine, oestradiol and EGF from causing breast cancer. (53)
Consuming vegetables and grains can also make you depressed and sleepless; Even a low intake of cadmium decreases serotonin level (54) Grains and vegetables in particular can contain high levels of cadmium (from phosphate fertilizers). That's why 'health freaks' consuming lots of vegetables and grains very often are not exactly 'shiny happy people'. What we nowadays consider a normal intake of cadmium, is already 50% of maximally admitted amounts. (55) You're not a cow, nor a pigeon; you don't need any grains or vegetables at all.
Consuming wheat- and / or dairy products can also causes sleepless and induces depression. Endorphins are opioid peptides made by the body. The anesthetic effects of endorphins is required to make you fall asleep. Damaged (due to heat) wheat- and milk-opioid peptides can occupy and destroy endorphin receptors in the brain. Therefore endorphins cannot bind to their receptors, what impairs falling asleep.Endorphin- and serotonin-metabolism are closely related, and opioid peptides can directly inhibit serotonin release. (56, 57) Therefore, besides sleeplessness, opioid peptides can also cause depressions. In chronically depressed people, free endorphin level is 3 fold higher (58) (because part of endorphin receptors have been destroyed
Long-term hormonal contraceptive use can make you depressed and sleepless too.
- Hormonal contraceptives act through dominating production and secretion of hormones by the body. It is very possible that after menopause adrenal gland estrogen production does not recover from being diminished through long-term contraceptive use. While estrogen (and other hormones) enhances serotonin-receptor activity. (14-16)
- Oral contraceptive use increases cortisol level, increasing transformation of tryptophan into xanthurenic acid, kynurenine and hydroxykynurenine. (59-61) Therefore less tryptophan can be transformed into serotonin.
- Use of antibiotics can cause sleeplessness too. (62). Bacteria in the colon produce factor S, inducing long-wave sleep. (63) Antibiotics kill both bacteria causing diseases and bacteria producing factor S. Antibiotics should only be used in an emergency situation.
Too little vitamin B3 enhances serotonin deficiency.
Vitamin B3 deficiency commonly comes with serotonin deficiency, for both substances are composed of tryptophan. If sufficient B3 is available, no tryptophan needs to be transformed into B3, leaving more tryptophan to be transformed into serotonin. Like meat and nuts, raw salmon, -tuna and -mackerel are loaded with B3. ‘Happy-‘ and ‘sleepy foods’ improve both serotonin- and vitamin B3 production.
Food induce Happy and Sleep
The body actually doesn’t need much tryptophan to compose serotonin. And yet you can consume lots of protein containing lots of tryptophan, with serotonin production remaining far too low simply because protein also contains amino acids inhibiting serotonin production, like leucine and phenylalanine in particular. Optimizing serotonin metabolism therefore is not about consuming protein high in tryptophan, but about consuming protein containing relatively more tryptophan than leucine and phenylalanine. Consuming such proteins improves serotonin metabolism, allowing you to feel happy, and sleep well Great 'happy-‘ and 'sleepy-foods’ are fruits like dried dates, -figs, papaya, banana, strawberries, sweet cherries, orange, mango, pineapple, grapefruit and hazelnuts, combined with fresh raw egg yolk (because of the cholesterol), alternated with fresh raw salmon (because of the vitamin B3).Of course the best 'happy-foods' are easy to digest and should be consumed raw. Mushrooms and potato crisps are best ‘happy’-munch-food (crisps combine well with egg yolk and avocado), but consuming mushrooms can cause cramps. Because these foods are high in tryptophan and low in leucine and phenylalanine. (and contain cholesterol, fats and sugars when combined). To know what foods can improve your sleep and happiness, you have to look at their SPF. ‘SPF’ = ‘Serotonin-Production Factor’ = tryptophan / (phenylalanine + leucine). For example : if the SPF of a certain food-protein is 50%, this protein contains exactly as much tryptophan as the average of phenylalanine and leucine, strongly improving serotonin production. All foods with a SPF below 10%, more or less inhibit serotonin production. Whether these low-SPF foods actually do inhibit serotonin production, depends on how much protein they contain.
To enhance serotonin production, you should consume as little low-SPF foods, especially when high in protein. (avocado isn’t) So, consuming corn flakes for breakfast, bread for lunch, and pasta with lobster or horsemeat for dinner, is an extremely bad idea ; Besides tryptophan, ‘happy foods’ like papaya, banana and pineapple also contain lots of serotonin, which you cannot utilize as serotonin in the brain. If you are not used to eating much of theses fruits, your body needs time to produce more enzymes decomposing the serotonin from these fruits. So, if you are not used to eating much of these fruits, increase consumption gradually to enable enzyme production keeping up with serotonin consumption. If you don’t, exogenous serotonin is not decomposed sufficiently, and can harden heart-muscles, causing mild heart pains.
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