Having a mindful mind will enhance your life in a lot of ways. And here’s the first chapter entirely for free!
Chapter 1: Word Order The first words in a sentence are usually the PERSON, PLACE, or THING that the sentence is about.
Some examples include: -John -I -The cat -The building
These are often called NOUNS and PRONOUNS.
The next thing in a sentence is usually the VERB which is usually the thing the SUBJECT is doing.
Some examples include: -ran -said -pooped -is That last one might be odd to you. The person is “is-ing.” It’s like “existing.”
Take this sentence for example: -“He is.” There are fancy terms around this area, but I don’t deal in fancy words. I’m a writer, not a teacher. Anyway, if you don’t understand what I’m going on about with “is,” just remember that “existing” words like that, such as WAS, ARE, and AM are all verbs. That means so far we have a SUBJECT + VERB. THING + ACTION.
Next, we have what the VERB is affecting. The VERB is doing a thing and it’s doing it to what–the next part of the sentence.
Examples include: -The road -Everything -Their Mountain Bikes -Her You might be wondering why these look an awful lot like NOUNS and PRONOUNS. And they are.
Your pool of options when choosing a SUBJECT, and your pool of options when choosing an OBJECT are very similar. And that’s what this part of the sentence is called: OBJECT. The VERB does its thing to the OBJECT. It’s the OBJECT because the VERB did its thing to it.
All together, we have this, and I’ll give you three versions of the same thing: Version 1: SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT. Version 2: THING + ACTION + THING. Version 3: PERSON, PLACE, OR THING + ACTION WORD + THING BEING ACTED UPON
Now, let’s talk about our mortal enemy: the exception. If your goal is to be able to name which part of the sentence is a SUBJECT, VERB, or OBJECT, then this is important for you.
What if instead of: -The horse kicked the bucket. You have: -The bucket was kicked by the horse. These both have THING + ACTION + THING, but one has SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT, while the other has OBJECT + VERB + SUBJECT.
One is backwards! The way to figure out which is which is to look at who’s doing what. The SUBJECT is the one doing the thing, the one doing the kicking. The OBJECT is the one something is being done to, the one being kicked. Therefore, the horse is the subject, and the bucket is the object. It’s generally bad writing to do something like the second example, so hopefully you’ll see mostly the first.
Wellness Solutions Presents the First Two Chapters Free
Chapter 1: Introduction
People have always believed—or continue to believe—that serotonin is the happy hormone and that elevating it has antidepressant effects.
Imagine if I told you that wasn’t at all true. For depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, SSRI medications are most frequently prescribed; over 90% of patients receiving antidepressant medication take one of these medications. Physicians prescribe it without hesitation, and the majority of them are unaware of the serious side effects or don’t even inform their patients of them. It’s more about balance therapy.
You may be wondering why so many people seem to benefit from SSRIs. After all, how come?
A few of the causes are as follows:
While all SSRI medications increase total serotonin levels and inhibit serotonin uptake, some of them also increase brain levels of allopregnanlone (a GABA agonist that is now approved for the treatment of depression), increase dopamine, inhibit histamine, and desensitize other serotonin receptors. This throws off our attempt to balance therapy.
One of the most widely used antidepressants, aeoni, for instance, inhibits the 5-HT2C and 5-HT3 serotonin receptors while also increasing allopregnanolone.
More serotonin receptors are antagonistic to more recent SSRIs that are being developed. This is due to the fact that medicine is finally catching up and realizing that depression cannot be “cured” by serotonin. Furthermore, although most SSRI users report feeling better, a major side effect of the drug is anhedonia, or a lack of enjoyment in life.
Dopamine is essentially the happy hormone that makes you feel motivated, enjoy life more, want to accomplish goals, and so forth. To learn more about increasing dopamine, go here.
Reducing stress will also have a significant impact on lowering serotonin because stress typically elevates serotonin in conjunction with an overactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. However, trauma and chronic stress can cause persistently elevated serotonin and hypersensitivity long after the initial stress has subsided.
A brief history
Allow me to briefly explain the history of serotonin. The enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) converts the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin. These enzymes come in two varieties: type I is found in the stomach and type II is found in the brain.
Between 95 and 99% of the body’s total serotonin is found in the gut, whereas only 1% is found in the brain. However, under abnormal circumstances, the brain can synthesize up to 60% of its serotonin from tryptophan. Additionally, there is a significant increase in gut serotonin production when the gut is irritated. Later, more on that.
Serotonin binds to a wide variety of receptors, including 5-HT1 to 5-HT7. For instance, 5-HT1 has four sub-receptors: 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1C, and 5-HT1D.
Because the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A functions as an auto-receptor, the body produces less serotonin when serotonin binds to the receptor. Thus, 5-HT1A functions as a kind of internal sensor for total serotonin and aids in the regulation of serotonin levels. On the other hand, desensitization of the receptor can result in persistently high serotonin levels. Not favorable.
We’ll delve deeper into each of the 14 serotonin sub-receptors that have been identified so far, as they all have distinct functions. I’ll do my best to make things as easy as possible.
Moreover, serotonin can bind to its receptors in the extracellular space after it is released from neurons. Then, the serotonin transporter, 5-HTT or SERT, rounds up the serotonin and returns it to the neurons. Reduced serotonin transporter (SERT) indicates increased extracellular serotonin, which can attach to serotonin receptors and enhance the effects of serotonin. Put another way, a low SERT is undesirable.
The primary enzymes that degrade serotonin into its primary metabolite, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA), are aldehyde dehydrogenase (ADH) and monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A). Steady MAO-A activity will result in elevated serotonin flux. To raise serotonin levels, the majority of SSRI medications inhibit the MAO-A enzyme.
Through glucuronidation, which necessitates healthy liver function, serotonin produced in the gut is primarily eliminated or detoxified I.
Now that you have a solid understanding of the production, function, and breakdown of serotonin, let’s talk about some of its adverse effects when levels are raised.
Effects of elevated serotonin on the body
migraines, bronchoconstriction, asthma, and hives (in addition to histamine).
syndrome of chronic fatigue
Serotonin released from platelets or other cells causes edema and swelling in the joints.
slowed metabolism, which may lead to weight gain.
Sweating and flushing
Easily alarmed, jittery (due to adrenaline), sensitive to light, sound, and visual disruptions, and prone to head twitching I
In response to exercise, serotonin increases core temperature, which also contributes to decreased exercise endurance I. It is better to inhibit serotonin synthesis when exercising.
raises the hormone aldosterone, which also causes water retention and blood pressure to rise.
increases the release of prolactin, primarily via 5-HT2A I,
increases CRH, glucocorticoids, and ACTH (primarily through 5-HT2C), as well as glucocorticoid receptors through the 5-HT7 receptor I, thereby activating the adrenal axis.
increases the number of estrogen receptors (via 5-HT4) I
prevents the synthesis of testosterone
prevents the release of dopamine in the frontal cortex (via 5-HT1B and 5-HT2C)
Well enough of those worrisome, highly unwanted side effects. Going on to low serotonin maintenance.
I’m going to show you which supplements have been shown to lower serotonin after talking with you about the most crucial daily actions you can take to maintain low serotonin.
Chapter 2: The High Serotonin Personality
Unlike other neurotransmitters, serotonin is a complex neurotransmitter that affects every part of the body. Balanced therapy is essential. At the moment, it’s thought to help with anger, impatience, impulsivity, depression, anxiety, etc. The fact that people with these symptoms have lower levels of the serotonin metabolite 5-HIAA is one of the main causes of this. Because 5-HIAA is low, the research is predicated on the idea that brain serotonin is low. On the other hand, low 5-HIAA actually indicates that the brain is overproducing serotonin rather than that very little of it is being broken down.
Serotonin can be elevated in the brain in three main ways: first, by increasing its synthesis via tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2); second, by decreasing the function of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), which breaks down serotonin; and third, by decreasing the function of the serotonin transporter, or SERT.
Serotonin will be raised as a result of low MAO-A and SERT activity, as well as elevated TPH. I don’t specifically address whether serotonin is good or bad and why in this piece; instead, I describe a possible personality trait of someone who has high serotonin. Remember that serotonin is most likely elevated in combination with other chemicals such as glutamate, nitric oxide, prolactin, estrogen, cortisol, histamine, prostaglandins, and so on. It is rarely, if ever, elevated on its own. Because serotonin increases the release of certain hormones, such as cortisol and glutamate, many of the personality traits associated with it may be caused by elevated levels of these hormones. Lowering cortisol or glutamate on its own, however, won’t completely resolve the issue because serotonin is the primary cause of the problem and won’t be greatly alleviated if it isn’t controlled.
Here are a few of the most typical”char’cteristics of high serotonin personalities:
weariness or sluggishness, fatigue quickly, and even chronic fatigue syndrome (caused by an increased 5-HT2A receptor)
Preventing TPH fatigue avoids this tiredness. But other neurotransmitters, such as cortisol, acetylcholine, noradrenaline, the serotonin:dopamine ratio, the kynurenine pathway, etc., are also implicated in fatigue in addition to serotonin.
Overexcitation (caused by elevated 5-HT2A receptor) includes ADD, ADHD, easily becoming distracted, anxiety, impulsivity, restlessness, overthinking, rumination, and other symptoms
Mental rigidity and inflexibility. Some studies claim that using psychedelics like LSD, mushrooms, etc. to activate the 5-HT2A receptor reduces rigid thinking. However, this is actually because these drugs stimulate the release of glutamate, which in turn stimulates the release of dopamine via the NMDA receptor. Dopamine is involved in creativity and flexible thinking . Additionally, people typically experience a type of “bliss” for a week or two following psychedelic exposure, which is caused by 5-HT2A downregulation.
depressed, melancholy, low spirits, diminished motivation to engage in other activities, such as going out and having fun, social anxiety and retreat, etc.
Decreased cognitive function (not necessarily ignorance, but mental intuition) But in a very authoritative way, they may believe they are knowledgeable and possess all the answers.
Narcissistic: grandiose delusions, power fantasies, inflated sense of self-importance, need for unceasing admiration, etc.
Diminished sensory perception, including anhedonia, apathy, diminished auditory, taste, smell, sensation, and musical euphoria.
excessively critical and biased in the negative
Negative, cynical, and incapable of seeing the good in life
Feel “icky” and frequently ask to be left alone.
Assertiveness and non-assertiveness are completely uncorrelated (5-HT2C is inversely correlated with assertiveness) Rude and aggressive dominance may appear to be assertive. According to philosopher Eric Hoffer, “the weak man impersonating strength is rudeness.”
OCD (5-HT2C activation decreases dopamine and noradrenaline and increases compulsivity)
aversive, passive-aggressive, but also capable of extreme violence and aggression
Give no thought to the repercussions of poor choices. Another possible cause of this could be low dopamine, which gives less weight to the severity of negative outcome. Life seems pointless or like a joke.
Sensitivity to and increased expectation of stimuli related to threats, punishment, and unfavorable feedback
Emotionally unstable people are emotional and argumentative about their beliefs and viewpoints, highly sensitive to emotional triggers (feeling like you have to walk on eggs around them), and easily triggered emotionally as a result of a traumatic experience with someone in the past.
Bullying is typically the result of early-life trauma from being physically or mentally abused, which leads to the victim becoming the aggressor.
Decreased psychomotor performance, memory, attention, planning ability, and verbal fluency. Nonetheless, people with high levels of serotonin and estrogen tend to talk a lot because these chemicals encourage the need to communicate.
Terrified – terrified of failing, lacking self-assurance and self-promotion.
Futile obedience (because they don’t want to upset anyone, are afraid, are “zombified,” don’t question things, etc.) and futile patience (continue waiting for something, even if it’s unlikely or unreasonable)
Thoughts and even attempts at suicide/
Bipolar mania – mood swings/ Helpful mechanisms include the histamine receptor H1, the 5-HT1A receptor’s agonism (which lowers serotonin), and the 5-HT2A receptor’s antagonism (which lowers excess glutamate).
Intermittent explosive disorder violent, aggressive, easily agitated, and argumentative.
Unlikable: Research indicates that men perceive women with high serotonin levels as less attractive and respond to them more violently. Those with high serotonin levels do, however, tend to draw in other like-minded individuals.
Of course, not everyone with high serotonin will have the same personality traits; you may know someone who exhibits some or many of the traits but not all of them. This is caused by variations in hormone levels between individuals as well as variations in receptor expressions.
However, in general, individuals with high serotonin have low dopamine and are more likely to be unstable, negative, prone to making poor decisions and cognitive errors, pessimistic (though they can also be overly (fake) optimistic and have a lot of fake confidence), lean on other people’s energy, possess all the answers and be overly logical rather than creative, depressed, irritable and truly annoying, passive-aggressive/up-in-your-face aggressive, enjoy picking on others to make themselves feel better, think highly of themselves (but deep down are highly insecure and lash out if any insecurity is exposed), can’t take something to be incorrect, etc.
To put it even more succinctly, serotonin is primarily associated with two types of personalities: one is assertive, dominant, narcissistic, authoritative, and controlling, and the other is more weak, depressed, anxious, and socially isolated (feel sorry for me). One can also be a combination of the two (“two-faced”, split personality etc.).
True North Counseling Presents the First Three Chapters Free
Chapter 1: Stomach Acid
Your stomach acid’s pH might change depending on a number of things, including drugs and medical conditions, according to True North Counseling. A pH that is very high or low might lead to issues.
The lining of your stomach secretes a watery, white liquid known as gastric acid or stomach acid. Its strong acidity aids in the digestion of food by breaking it down. This facilitates the easier absorption of nutrients by your body when food passes through your digestive system.
The acidity of stomach acid is necessary to break down tough, fibrous vegetables as well as meat and can act as a sort of revive therapy.
To prevent sickness or other health issues, your body is made to withstand normal amounts of stomach acid.
Nevertheless, it’s possible that such systems don’t always function as intended. Consuming low- or high-acidity gastric juices might lead to further health issues.
Learn how powerful stomach acid is and what happens if your body produces too much or too little of it.
How much acid is in the stomach?
The benefits of stomach acid to your health are many. It transforms the food you ingest into smaller, more easily absorbed pieces. Additionally, it serves as your body’s first line of defense against germs and viruses that might cause illness. A very acidic liquid is needed for these operations. Just how acidic, though?
In order to really comprehend the strength of stomach acid, it is necessary to first comprehend how the acidity of a beverage is determined. Between 0 and 14 is the pH scale, which is used to quantify acidity. The greater the acidic levels in the fluid, the lower the pH level. For instance, battery acid is very powerful since it has a pH of 0.
There are fourteen least acidic fluids. We refer to them as alkaline liquids. Neutral fluids, such as pure water, are in the center at 7.
With a pH of between 1 and 2, stomach acid is considered to be very acidic.
Remember that items like metal and bone may dissolve in battery acid. Because stomach acid has a pH balance that is just one or two points higher than normal, it may also break down very durable objects like teeth and bones.
What composes stomach acid?
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is primarily responsible for the low pH of stomach acid.
Nevertheless, stomach acid contains relatively little hydrogen chloride (HCl). Sodium chloride (NaCl) and potassium chloride (KCl) are additional ingredients.
This acidic trio is secreted by the cells lining the wall of your stomach. The cells also secrete mucus and a number of enzymes. The procedure depends on this mucus. It shields the stomach lining from the damaging effects of acid and other gastric secretions, preserving the delicate organ.
What happens if there is not enough hydrochloric acid in your stomach?
It’s normal for the pH of your stomach acid to change periodically.
Stress and some medications may cause stomach acid to become unbalanced. As a result, your body may not produce as much HCl.
Signs of low amounts of HCl
When this occurs, you could start to feel symptoms such as:
vomiting and nausea
Hypochlorhydria, though, is a disorder that you can have if your stomach acid is consistently low. When acid production is consistently low, there might be serious consequences. In the first phases of this illness, you may have trouble adequately digesting meals and absorbing the nutrients your body needs to operate. It might harm your digestive system if left untreated. Your risk of infections and long-term medical problems rises as a result.
Therapy for low levels of HCl
The probable reason will determine the specific course of therapy for low acid gastric juices.
An HCl supplement could be recommended by your physician. This may raise the pH of your stomach acid. Additionally, they could recommend drugs that include the pepsin enzyme, which helps raise stomach acidity.
Other therapies consist of:
using antibiotics to address an underlying illness
improved diet and more supplements
strategies for reducing stress
What occurs if the hydrochloric acid content in your stomach is high?
The mucus in your stomach may lose its effectiveness if the acidity of your gastric secretions is too high.
High quantities of stomach acid may cause a variety of issues, such as:
Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
High HCl level symptoms
The following are the most noticeable signs of elevated stomach acid levels:
vomiting or nausea
stomach pain that may worsen on an empty stomach
loss of appetite
unexplained weight loss
Therapy for elevated HCl levels
Medication is the most frequent treatment for excessive stomach acid as a revive therapy. PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors, reduce stomach acid production. PPIs may be prescribed by your doctor on their own. PPIs are sometimes administered in combination with other drugs.
Other interventions will be contingent upon the presumed etiology of these elevated acid levels. Among these therapies might be:
tumor removal surgery, gastrectomy, or vagotomy, which involves cutting out a portion of the stomach or vagus nerve
Acid levels that are consistently too high or too low might be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Getting help may help you avoid long-term issues.
Reasons for low levels of HCl
Reduced acidity is more likely to occur under certain situations. Among these risk factors are:
having a premature birth
being over 65
having surgery on the stomach
being deficient in several nutrients, particularly zinc
having an H. pylori infection
Reasons why HCl levels are high
There are several things that might make you more likely to have excessive stomach acid. These consist of:
overproduction of certain hormones known to cause the production of stomach acid
rebound gastric acid production upon cessation of stomach acid-lowering medicines
an infection with H. pylori
blockage of the gastric outflow
tumors, although rare
Schedule a visit with your doctor if you believe you are exhibiting signs of either high or low stomach acid.
Tips for optimum acid production
It is necessary to do further study on non-pharmacological methods of influencing acid production. However, a 2019 analysis found that persons with high acid production could benefit from dietary and lifestyle modifications
Among these modifications are:
consuming frequent, smaller meals as opposed to big, calorie-dense ones
Never lay down for two to three hours after a meal, and never eat two to three hours before to going to bed.
Steer clear of anything too tight that presses on your abdomen.
Increasing your diet’s fiber intake
cutting down on the calories you consume each meal
if you smoke, abstaining from smoking
eating a Mediterranean-style diet
drinking plenty of water in between meals
getting enough sleep
keeping a healthy weight
Your body naturally creates stomach acid, a highly acidic liquid, to aid in food digestion and nutrient absorption. Your body also creates enzymes and mucus to help defend itself from the acid’s potency.
Reflux, ulcers, and heartburn may all be caused by elevated stomach acid levels. You may have trouble digesting meals if your stomach acid is low.
In the event that you exhibit symptoms of low or excessive acidity, get medical help. Both of these may provide issues if left untreated and could develop into chronic conditions.
A medical expert can assess your symptoms and determine the most appropriate course of action for you. Sometimes, they could search for underlying medical conditions, such as an infection, that might be causing your abnormal acid levels.
Chapter 2: Gut Health
“Gut”: What Is It?
Everyone has heard about the significance of gut health and gut health, but what exactly is the “gut”? Although some would argue that the whole digestive tract—from ingestion to excretion—is the “gut,” the majority of the actual action takes place after the material has been broken down and exited the stomach.
Indeed, the stomach plays a crucial role in the process, but the intestinal system comes to mind when considering the gut, mostly the small intestine, which is responsible for about 90% of nutritional absorption. Many food intolerances also originate in the small intestine. About 70% of people are lactose intolerant, and after consuming a dairy product, they may have diarrhea, nausea, bloating, gas, or stomach discomfort for 30 to 2 hours.
Individuals who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting milk products because they do not create enough lactase, an enzyme that aids in the breakdown of milk sugars. After ingesting dairy products, undigested lactose remains in the gut and ferments, causing the symptoms that many individuals have.
Therefore, the small intestine is really the major location of the often reported “stomach ache” or “upset stomach”! The large intestine, also known as the colon, is the primary location for the microbiome—the community of beneficial bacteria—while the small intestine is responsible for nutrition absorption and a host of other processes. In actuality, the intestinal tract contains the whole “gut” that we are all talking about.
Gut Microbiome and Flora
The majority of readers have almost certainly heard the terms “gut flora” and/or “microbiome,” but what exactly is the microbiome? And what’s meant by gut flora?
All of the bacteria, viruses, fungus, and other tiny creatures that reside in your intestines are together referred to as the microbiome. We refer to those same microorganisms as the gut flora. I know it seems scary, because fungus and bacteria are nasty, right? Not all of them, however. Beneficial microorganisms are essential to bodily processes. Your general health is really primarily dependent on maintaining a healthy gut flora.
The microbiome serves a wide range of purposes, including a sort of revive therapy. Maintaining a healthy gut flora facilitates digestion by assisting the body in breaking down certain meals that the stomach and small intestine are unable to process. Additionally, gut flora contributes significantly to the immune system by acting as a barrier, stopping the development of dangerous bacteria, and assisting in the synthesis of vitamins B and K.
Studies have even connected the gut-brain axis’s health and function to the microbiome. Experts now refer to this microbiota as an “organ,” given its primary role in the body’s regular operation and the many tasks it performs. Nonetheless, because the microbiome is not innate, it is regarded as an “acquired organ,” beginning at birth and changing throughout the course of a person’s life.
The total weight of microbiota may reach up to 2 kg (4 lbs). The cecum is a little area of the big intestine that is home to a significant population of these bacteria. The region where the small intestine joins the large intestine, known as the cecum, is pouch-like and located close to the appendix.
Microbes may also be found in the stomach, esophagus, and small intestine, but in much lesser quantities. Healthy intestinal walls will be able to host more of that ideal microbiota than an unhealthy intestinal wall since these microorganisms reside in the mucosal lining of the intestinal wall. In order to increase the amount of good gut flora, several diets and supplements may also be beneficial. These supplements are often probiotics.
For those who have visited health stores, attended natural product exhibits, or read up on health trends, it is evident that prebiotics and probiotics are becoming more and more popular. In 2012 alone, there were about 3 million more persons in the US using probiotic or prebiotic supplements than there were in 2007, a four-fold increase in the usage of these supplements. These figures have only gone up in the last several years. However, you may want to grasp what the distinction is between probiotics and prebiotics before getting too technical.
In actuality, prebiotics and probiotics vary greatly but both are required and together make up a harmony therapy. Dietary components like fiber are referred to as prebiotics because they aid in the development of beneficial bacteria in the stomach. These consist of flaxseeds, apples, oats, garlic, asparagus, and bananas, among other things.
Probiotics, on the other hand, are real, live microorganisms that are said to provide several health advantages, including assistance for the digestive system. Live culture yogurts, fermented meals and drinks, nutritional supplements, and even non-oral items like skin lotions are all marketed as probiotic goods.
Though some people may find the concept of purposefully ingesting germs and microbes unusual or unsettling, the advantages of probiotics have made this notion more popular among the general population. Probiotic bacteria aid in vitamin production, aid in food digestion, and eliminate pathogenic microbes. Furthermore, a large number of the microbes included in probiotic supplements are identical to or comparable to those that our bodies naturally contain in order to carry out these tasks.
Recognize that not all probiotics are created equal while reading about how to choose one. Probiotics include a wide variety of microorganisms that, while belonging to the same family of bacteria, have distinct roles in the body.
For instance, the most prevalent are from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families. Numerous bacterial species from each of these two groups’ respective families are included. If one strain of Lactobacillus bacteria is shown to be protective against a disease, it is not a given that another strain would be as effective. When adding new bacteria to their bodies, those with compromised immune systems or major medical conditions should exercise caution. Apart from probiotics, several dietary supplements may also assist to enhance the intestinal environment and increase the hospitability of beneficial bacteria. In any case, it is essential to speak with a doctor before starting a new nutritional supplement.
Increased intestinal permeability, a condition where toxins and germs may seep past the intestinal wall and into the circulation, is essentially what is meant to be understood when one has a leaky gut.
Our food is broken down by the digestive system into usable nutrients, which are then transferred to the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body as required. Furthermore, the digestive system functions as a physical gatekeeper, permitting only useful substances to pass through.
Tight junctions are the name for these gatekeepers. Tiny gaps called tight junctions exist throughout the intestinal wall. They let water and nutrients pass through while blocking the passage of germs and poisons into the circulation. The so-called leaky gut syndrome results from these tight connections becoming loose, which essentially makes the gut wall more permeable to both dangerous bacteria and toxins as well as helpful chemicals. Inadequate circulatory circulation of germs and toxins leads to hyperactive immune response and systemic inflammation. This subsequently causes gastrointestinal bloating, excessive wind, poor digestion, tiredness, underproductivity, and even skin issues—symptoms of a leaky gut.
Many people are still curious about the etiology of leaky gut. Although research on leaky gut syndrome is ongoing, zonulin is assumed to be partially or maybe entirely to blame. The gut may become more permeable if this protein is activated by intestinal bacteria that have seeped out of it. Numerous factors may cause zonulin activity, such as consuming a diet heavy in sugar, using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (like ibuprofen) for an extended period of time, stress, inflammation, and routinely consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
We are hearing more about the illness these days as researchers gain better understanding of the gut and its function in immune system and general health. More people are taking responsibility for their own health, reading up on topics, and learning about ailments like leaky guts. We then desire to take action to mend our own intestines after realizing that’s maybe what we’ve had all along. Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and a few food allergies have all been linked to leaky gut syndrome. Making every effort to stop and fix a leaky gut may help shield us against long-term illnesses.
Absorption is a critical component of gut health that is often disregarded but is essential for harmony therapy. In the nutrition and supplement sectors, this phrase is often used. However, how many people really get it? The small intestine, which is the primary location of nutrition absorption, is where it all begins. These nutrients need to cross the intestinal lumen, enter the mucosal cells that line the digestive system, and finally enter the circulation in order to be absorbed. Several processes are involved in this, and they vary depending on the kind of nutrient that is flowing through.
First is diffusion. Simply said, this is the movement of molecules from a high concentration location to a lower concentration area. Molecules may effortlessly pass the cell membrane on their own when simple diffusion is occurring.
Osmosis, or the dispersion of water, comes next. Then came enhanced diffusion, in which the nutrient enters the circulation without the requirement for a carrier or transport molecule. The transportation mentioned above are all passive and don’t need energy to operate. Additionally, there is active transport, which requires a carrier molecule in addition to energy to be absorbed. In contrast to straightforward passive diffusion, this kind of transport may carry materials from a lower concentration into a greater concentration.
Even though the body naturally absorbs nutrients, having a sick stomach might reduce the amount of nutrients that are really absorbed and used by the body. Certain supplements for gut health may assist to improve this absorption, which will raise the vitamins, proteins, and other vital components in our meals’ bioavailability.
Simply said, bioavailability is the amount of a nutrient that the body can absorb and utilize. The vitamins and minerals we ingest have widely differing levels of bioavailability. Almost all of the sodium we consume is absorbed by the body because some minerals, like sodium, are absorbed at a very high percentage. In contrast, just around 25% of what we consume is usually absorbed when it comes to calcium. Iron has much less, at 5%.
Generally speaking, the body absorbs animal goods more readily than plant ones. This is due to the fact that plants include compounds like fiber, phytates, tannins, and oxalates that bind minerals in the digestive system and limit absorption. Regrettably, the body would benefit from these plant-based diets’ increased bioavailability since they include a lot of nutrients.
For instance, turmeric is well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, yet its bioavailability is often poor. Many firms incorporate compounds that promote absorption to assist the increase of the bioavailability of curcumin, the main chemical in turmeric, so that lesser quantities taken will have a bigger impact. This allows consumers to actually benefit from turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties. Once again, it is critical to consider the impact those gut-enhancing substances have on absorption. Do they swell up to force nutrients through? Or instead, do they collaborate with the stomach to stimulate natural transporters and repair the lining?
A Diet for Gut Health
Our whole health is directly impacted by the condition of our stomach. Immune system strength, mood, and food digestion are all influenced by the integrity of our gut; difficulties with food digestion brought on by a compromised gut may result in inadequate nutrition and even disease.
Our microbiome, a vital collection of billions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, lives in our stomach. These microbes, also known as “good bacteria,” support the proper function of our digestive tract. Furthermore, the microbiome in our stomach affects our skin, immune system, emotional and physical well-being, and risk of contracting illnesses like cancer. Take care of our microbiome, and it will take care of us. Our gut health and microbiota are influenced by the foods we consume, so what should we eat more of and less of to keep our guts healthy?
Pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir are examples of fermented foods and beverages that are excellent for the digestive system. They have probiotic bacteria, which aid in keeping the harmful bacteria out of our digestive tract and helping the healthy bacteria populate it. A particular kind of fiber known as prebiotics is what the microbes in our microbiome love to eat. Prebiotic fibers include inulin, which is found in foods like garlic, onions, and leeks. Good-for-you meals also aid in the absorption of water by the colon, facilitating the easy movement of waste products and food throughout the whole length of the intestines. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains fall within this category.
Food that May Impair Gut Health
The adage that fresh veggies and whole grains are healthy while processed red meats, sweets, and saturated fats are unhealthy has a basis that goes beyond heart health and weight control. Controlling these is like harmony therapy. Sugary, salty, and high-fat diets are terrible for the intestines. As much as possible, stteer clear of processed meats, baked goods, desserts, chips, fried meals, and fast food if you want to strengthen the health of your digestive system. Store them as seldom sweets.
And trust your instincts. Many individuals have dietary intolerances to certain proteins, like gluten, or sugars, such lactose, which is present in dairy products. You should stay away from these foods if they make you feel bloated, gassy, or uncomfortable after eating them. You may be intolerant to them. A sick stomach will physically talk to you. As it attempts to process the food you consume, it will gurgle and create sounds that are beyond your control. Along with gas and bloating, you could also feel gastrointestinal aches that go throughout your body. Along with regular weight gain or loss, you could also have diarrhea or constipation.
Digestion is not the only symptom of a sick gut. Because of the gut-brain link, having a bad stomach may cause mood changes, depression, difficulty concentrating, and even skin conditions like eczema. Also, you might have difficulty getting a decent night’s sleep, which would leave you feeling drained and agitated all the time. For many people, these symptoms are frequent and daily occurrences, and they are often attributed to other factors like stress or just having a busy life. If this describes you, it may be time to listen to your body and your nutrition. You may regain control over your health and find the correct path to gut health by learning to listen to your body’s cues.
What is your gut telling you?
Chapter 3: Exercise
The digestive system’s functions include breaking down, or digesting, food, getting rid of impurities, and absorbing energy and other essential elements that our bodies need to operate properly. But it’s also significant in other respects.
Gut health’s impact on mental health
Additionally, the state of our gut affects our mental and emotional well-being. Poor gut health may also have a negative impact on our mental health. Therefore, maintaining the health of our digestive system is crucial to our general well-being and goes beyond just avoiding digestive illnesses like gas, bloating, and constipation. Fortunately, there are easy things that we can all do to promote gut health.
In addition to the apparent importance of eating and drinking the correct foods, our digestion is also influenced by the way we exercise our body. It aids in stimulating the stomach and raises digestive activity, to start.
Train to maintain intestinal health
The muscles in our digestive system get more blood flow when we exercise, which massages our food as it passes through the digestive tract, a mechanism called peristalsis, which speeds up and improves the efficiency of their job.
Additionally, studies indicate that exercise modifies the microbiota’s equilibrium in the gut. The so-called gut flora actively defends our immune system, inhibits the development of harmful bacteria, and aids in the body’s digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food we consume.
Steer clear of intense cardio workouts
During the period of digestion, it is crucial to steer clear of certain high-impact workout kinds, like:
Choose walking and other low-impact physical activities instead of these workouts, since they might disturb the digestive system and create pain and stitches.
The Super 3 Peristalsis is a pattern of digestive workouts that helps us digest meals by rubbing food along the digestive canal. It is an involuntary muscular activity in the gut. By aiding this process, this particularly crafted workout program helps improve your digestion.
After a short meal or snack, you may start the program right away; however, if you’ve had a larger meal, you should wait around half an hour.
To protect your knees while kneeling for the exercises, it is advised that you use an exercise mat or towel.
It’s okay to do this workout just after a little lunch or snack. It’s crucial that you take your time, so concentrate on moving slowly and deliberately.
Put your hands flat on the floor just under your shoulders as you drop on all fours. Right behind your hips is where your knees should be. Make sure your back is straight.
Stretch your right arm out till it’s parallel to your shoulder, very slowly. Elevate your left leg concurrently to align your heel with your hips. Try to draw a straight line that extends from your right arm to your left foot.
After maintaining this posture for a little while, very gently begin to pull in your left knee and right arm to return to the beginning position.
From this position, let your back arch as if a belt is drawing you up, lowering your head and tailbone. Hold this for a brief moment before repeating at least 10 times with the same arm and leg. Repeat after resting on the other side.
After you’ve finished this program, go directly to the stretches. In addition to massaging the stomach muscles and easing any bloating sensations, they will facilitate the peristalsis process.
You should now be laying on your back on your mat or towel after turning over. All you have to do is fold both of your knees into your chest and give them a little embrace.
Now, while still holding onto the opposite knee, carefully stretch one leg straight out. After that, swap by drawing the straight leg back in.
For the whole exercise, keep your head and shoulders on the floor. Do this ten times.
In order to complete the exercise, return both feet to the floor and gradually extend your legs straight out so that you are resting flat with your arms by your sides.
Keep your arms in touch with the floor as you slowly stretch them out to the side and up beyond your head.
Now extend yourself to your maximum length. Any internal pressure is released as a result. Keep this pose for ten to twenty seconds.
These workouts may even reduce abdominal fat and improve digestion:
Riding a bike is another excellent way to keep the digestive system running smoothly. Not only can cycling promote intestinal health, but it also helps reduce belly fat.
The goal of ab exercise is to strengthen the abdominal muscles and correct the digestive system. This exercise may be tried in a variety of ways, such as the vertical leg crunch, long arm crunch, and reverse crunch. One of the finest workouts for a healthy digestive system is a sit-up or crunch. Your intestines and bowel movement are strengthened by the muscles in your belly and core. Additionally, they aid in avoiding digestive problems including bloating and gas. Better more, this workout may help you get flat abs and decrease belly fat!
You may be surprised to learn that even this basic breathing exercise has an impact on your digestion. An appropriate breathing pattern may assist with issues like bloating and heartburn. All you have to do is practice breathing in and out using your abdominal muscles while sitting up straight. By relaxing, you’ll be able to control your stress levels.
Learn Innovative Therapy Techniques With This Free Sample Chapter
Chapter on Sleep, “Peace and Purpose”
Histamine controls many body functions and is a key part of your body’s response to inflammation. Which histamine receptors histamine binds to determines what effect it has. Scientists have found four different kinds of histamine receptors. Excess histamine can cause anxiety as well as insomnia.
You have H1 receptors all over your body, including in neurons (brain cells), smooth muscle cells in your airways, and blood vessels. When the H1 receptors are turned on, allergy and anaphylaxis symptoms show up. It can lead to:
Itchy skin (pruritus)
Expanding of blood vessels (vasodilation)
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
Narrowing of your airway (bronchoconstriction)
Movement of fluids through blood vessel walls (vascular permeability)
Some of these changes in the body cause sneezing, stuffy nose, and a runny nose (rhinorrhea). H1 receptors do more than just control allergic reactions. They also help:
Of course, its effect on sleep-wake cycles is our current concern. It’s like our balance from within. Our sleep-wake cycle is essential when it comes to finding peace and purpose in life.
Histamine is considered wake-promoting because drowsiness is a common side effect of certain anti-allergy medications that block histamine signaling. Also, histamine neurons are generally active in wake states and inactive during sleep. Histamine neurons promote wakefulness by activating neurons in the cortex that cause arousal and by inhibiting neurons that promote sleep. So, basically, histamine keeps you awake.
Balance From Within: How to Reduce Histamine Naturally
Foods that reduce histamine:
Vitamin C reduces histamines, as well, so any foods containing vitamin C may reduce histamine. Foods to avoid if you trying to reduce histamine:
Wine or beer
Aged meats or cheese
Supplements that may help reduce histamine:
B. longum (probiotic strain)
B. infantis (probiotic strain)
Pancreatic enzymes (ask a doctor before use)
Methylxanthines (Dietary sources of methylxanthines include coffee, tea, chocolate, maté, and guarana. You can drink coffee, eat chocolate, or supplement with theobromine, but attempting to supplement with theophylline is not recommended, as adverse cardiac effects are possible. However, chocolate also contains some histamine, and researchers suspect that it may encourage histamine release. The net effect of cocoa is unknown; it’s recommended that you test your own individual response and see what it does for you.)
Luteolin (found in celery, parsley, and broccoli)
Apigenin (found in parsley, grapes, and apples)
EGCG (found in green tea)
Kaempferol (found in cruciferous vegetables, delphinium plants, witch hazel, and grapefruit)
Myricetin (found in berries, teas, wines, and many vegetables)
Rutin (found in buckwheat, apples, and passionflower)
Theanine (found in green and black tea)
Naringenin (found in grapefruit)
Curcumin (found in turmeric)
Eleuthero (also known as Siberian ginseng)
Tulsi (also known as holy basil)
Mucuna pruriens (also known as velvet bean)
L. plantarum (a probiotic)
Carnosine (made from the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine and found in high-quality meat)
NAC (N-acetyl cysteine)
Valine (found in meat, grains, vegetables, and milk and other dairy products)
Drugs that reduce histamine:
doxylamine (often sold under the brand name “Unisom,” though Unisom sometimes contains diphenhydramine instead)
These should be reserved for occasional, short-term use only. You can quickly develop tolerance to them, and side-effects may occur with prolonged use.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is made and released by your adrenal glands and is also important in our pursuit of peace and purpose. These glands are endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Cortisol affects many parts of your body, but its main job is to control how your body reacts to stress. Cortisol is a hormone called a glucocorticoid that is made and released by your adrenal glands. Glucocorticoids are a kind of hormone called a steroid. They stop inflammation in your body’s tissues and keep your muscles, fat, liver, and bones from breaking down too quickly.
Glucocorticoids also change the way people sleep and wake up. Your body checks your cortisol levels all the time to keep them steady (this is called homeostasis). Cortisol levels that are either too high or too low can be bad for your health. People often call cortisol the “stress hormone.”
But it does a lot more than just control your body’s stress response. It has many important effects and functions all over your body. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that, from a biological point of view, there are many kinds of stress, such as:
Acute stress: This kind of stress happens when you are suddenly and for a short time in danger. Acute stress can be caused by things like barely avoiding a car accident or being chased by an animal.
Chronic stress: This is long-term stress that happens when you must deal with things that make you angry or worried over and over again. Chronic stress can be caused by things like having a job that is hard or frustrating or being sick all the time.
Traumatic stress: This happens when you go through something that puts your life in danger and makes you feel scared and helpless. Traumatic stress can be caused by things like being in a war or being sexually assaulted or going through a tornado. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can sometimes be caused by these things.
When any of these things stress you out, your body makes cortisol.
How does my body react to cortisol?
When you’re stressed, your body can release cortisol after releasing “fight or flight” hormones like adrenaline. This keeps you on high alert. In times of stress, cortisol also makes your liver release glucose (sugar) so that you can get energy quickly. Cortisol helps control how your body uses fats, proteins, and carbs for energy by regulating your metabolism. Normally, your cortisol levels are lowest in the evening when you go to sleep and highest in the morning before you wake up. This suggests that cortisol is a key part of waking up and is involved in the circadian rhythm of your body. Cortisol levels need to be just right for people to live and for their bodies to work properly. If your cortisol levels are consistently high or low, it can be bad for your health. High cortisol levels can cause anxiety.
How does my body keep the level of cortisol in check?
Your body has a complicated system to control how much cortisol you have in your body. Your hypothalamus, which is a small part of your brain that controls hormones, and your pituitary gland, which is a small gland below your brain, controls how much cortisol your adrenal glands make. When the amount of cortisol in your blood drops, your hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which tells your pituitary gland to make adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Then, ACTH tells your adrenal glands to make cortisol and let it out. Your hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands must all be working well for you to have the right amount of cortisol in your body.
How can I find out how much cortisol I have?
Your doctor can test your blood, urine, or saliva to see how much cortisol is in your body. Based on your symptoms, they will decide which test is best.
How much cortisol is normal?
Cortisol is a hormone that is found in your blood, urine, and saliva. Its level is highest in the morning and drops throughout the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. If you work nights and sleep at different times, this pattern can change. The normal ranges for most tests that measure cortisol in your blood are:
10 to 20 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) from 6 to 8 a.m.
3 to 10 mcg/dL around 4 p.m.
Normal ranges can be different from lab to lab, person to person, and over time. If you need a cortisol level test, your doctor or nurse will look at the results and tell you if you need more testing.
What makes cortisol levels so high?
Hypercortisolism is the medical term for having abnormally high levels of cortisol for a long time. This is usually considered Cushing’s Syndrome, which is a rare condition. Causes of cortisol levels that are higher than normal and Cushing’s Syndrome include:
Taking a lot of corticosteroid drugs like prednisone, prednisolone, or dexamethasone to treat other health problems.
Tumors that produce adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). These are usually found in your pituitary gland. More rarely, neuroendocrine tumors in other parts of your body such as your lungs can cause high cortisol levels.
Adrenal gland tumors or excessive growth of adrenal tissue (hyperplasia), which cause excess production of cortisol.
What are the signs that your cortisol levels are too high?
Depending on how high your cortisol levels are, your symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome will be different. Common signs and symptoms of cortisol levels that are higher than normal are:
Weight gain, especially in your face and abdomen.
Fatty deposits between your shoulder blades.
Wide, purple stretch marks on your abdomen (belly).
Muscle weakness in your upper arms and thighs.
High blood sugar, which often turns into Type 2 diabetes.
High blood pressure (hypertension).
Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) in women.
Weak bones (osteoporosis) and fractures.
What causes cortisol to be low?
When cortisol levels are lower than normal, this is called hypocortisolism. This is a sign of adrenal insufficiency. There are two kinds of adrenal insufficiency: primary and secondary. Some things that can cause adrenal insufficiency are:
Primary adrenal insufficiency: Most of the time, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your adrenal glands for no known reason, which can cause primary adrenal insufficiency. The name for this is Addison’s disease. Your adrenal glands can also be hurt by an infection or bleeding in the tissues (called an adrenal hemorrhage). All these things stop cortisol from being made.
Secondary adrenal insufficiency: If you have hypopituitarism or a tumor on your pituitary gland, it can stop your body from making enough ACTH. ACTH tells your adrenal glands to make cortisol, so when there isn’t enough ACTH, there isn’t enough cortisol made.
Corticosteroid medications can also cause cortisol levels to be lower than normal, especially if you stop taking them quickly after using them for a long time.
What are the signs that your cortisol levels are too low?
If your cortisol levels are lower than normal, this is called adrenal insufficiency.
Unintentional weight loss
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
How can I lower my level of cortisol?
If you have Cushing’s syndrome, which is when your cortisol levels are very high, you will need medical treatment to bring them down. Most treatments involve either medicine or surgery. If your cortisol levels are lower than normal, you’ll also need medical help. In general, though, there are a few simple things you can do every day to try to lower your cortisol levels and keep them where they should be.
Get good sleep: Sleep problems like obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, or working the night shift can cause cortisol levels to rise.
Regular exercise: Several studies have shown that regular exercise can help you sleep better and feel less stressed, which can lower your cortisol levels over time.
Learn to control stress and stressful ways of thinking: Knowing how you think, how you breathe, how fast your heart beats, and other signs of stress can help you catch it early and stop it from getting worse.
Do exercises that help you take deep breaths: Your parasympathetic nervous system, or “rest and digest” system, is activated when you breathe in a controlled way. This helps lower cortisol levels.
Have fun and laugh: Laughing makes endorphins come out and stops cortisol from coming out. Having hobbies and doing fun things can also make you feel better, which may make your cortisol levels go down.
Keep your relationships in good shape: Relationships are an important part of our life. Having tense, unhealthy relationships with people you care about or work with can cause you to feel stressed out often and raise your cortisol levels.
When should I talk to my doctor about my cortisol levels?
If you have signs of Cushing’s syndrome or adrenal insufficiency, you should see a doctor. If you are worried about how stressed you are every day, talk to your doctor or nurse about what you can do to reduce your stress and stay healthy. Cortisol is a very important hormone that affects a lot of different parts of your body. There are a few things you can do to try to reduce your stress and, by extension, your cortisol levels. However, sometimes you can’t help whether your cortisol levels are too high or too low. If you gain or lose weight, or if your blood pressure goes up or down, these are signs that your cortisol levels are too high or too low. You should talk to your doctor about this. They can do some simple tests to find out if your symptoms are caused by your adrenal glands or your pituitary gland.
Balance From Within –Foods that lower cortisol:
Adaptogens such as mushrooms, moringa and ashwagandha
Supplements that lower cortisol:
Norepinephrine Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter and a hormone. It is also called noradrenaline. It is a key part of the “fight-or-flight” response in your body. Norepinephrine is also a drug that is used to raise and keep blood pressure high in short-term, serious health situations. As a neurotransmitter, norepinephrine is made from dopamine. Norepinephrine is made by nerve cells in your brainstem and in an area close to your spinal cord. Norepinephrine is a part of your body’s sympathetic nervous system, which is part of your “fight-or-flight” response to danger. The “fight or flight” response is called the “acute stress response” in medicine. If you have too much norepinephrine, you may feel anxious or on edge. How does the body use norepinephrine?
It makes you more awake, alert, and focused.
Blood vessels get smaller, which helps keep blood pressure steady when you’re stressed.
Changes the way you sleep, how you feel, and what you remember.
What sets off the release of norepinephrine?
Norepinephrine is a hormone that comes out of your adrenal glands when you’re stressed, when your tranquil waters are disturbed. The fight-or-flight response is the name for the changes in your body that happen because of this response.
What does “fight or flight” mean?
The fight-or-flight response is how your body reacts to stressful situations, like when you need to get away from a dangerous situation (like a dog that is growling) or when you have to face a fear (like giving a speech for school or work). It’s the opposite of tranquil waters. During the fight-or-flight response, your brain tells you that something bad is happening. Then, nerves in a part of your brain called the hypothalamus send a message down your spinal cord and out to the rest of your body. Norepinephrine is the neurotransmitter that tells your nervous system what to do when your brain tells it what to do. The neurotransmitter noradrenaline goes to these organs and tissues and causes these quick reactions in the body:
Eyes: The pupils get bigger to let in more light so you can see more of what’s around you.
Skin: Your skin goes pale when your blood vessels get a message to send blood to places that need it more, like your muscles, so you can fight or run away.
Heart: The heart beats harder and faster to get more oxygenated blood to places like your muscles that need it most. Also, blood pressure goes up.
Muscles: When muscles get more blood flow and oxygen, they can move and work faster and with more strength.
Liver: Your liver turns the glycogen you have stored into glucose, which gives you more energy.
Airways: People breathe faster and deeper. Your airways widen, which lets more oxygen into your blood, which then goes to your muscles.
Your adrenal gland releases the hormones adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) when the neurotransmitter noradrenaline gets to it. These hormones get to every part of your body through your blood. They go back to your eyes, heart, lungs, skin, blood vessels, and adrenal gland. The “message” to these organs and tissues is to keep reacting until the danger is gone. Norepinephrine is used as a medicine to raise and keep blood pressure up in situations where low blood pressure is a problem, but only for a short time. Some of these conditions could be:
Low levels of norepinephrine can cause the following health problems:
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Blood pressure and heart rate changes
Dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency. Your body can’t turn dopamine into norepinephrine if you have this rare genetic disease
High levels of epinephrine can cause the following health problems:
High blood pressure
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Pale or cold skin
Nervous feeling, jitters
Pheochromocytoma, which is a growth on the adrenal glands
People with high levels of norepinephrine are more likely to hurt their heart, blood vessels, or kidneys. To lower norepinephrine, it’s important to find ways to put your body into parasympathetic response mode, so anything in nature that can help you relax will do. Norepinephrine levels can be kept in check by eating a well-balanced diet, reducing emotional and physical stress, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
A well-balanced diet has been shown to help keep your immune system healthy and give you the extra energy you need to deal with stress. Early research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids and vegetables may help control cortisol levels. Mindful eating reduces stress by encouraging people to take deep breaths, choose their food carefully, pay attention to the meal, and chew their food slowly and thoroughly. This can also help your body digest better.
Herbs and Supplements
Calming amino acids like a theanine supplement can help support norepinephrine levels, and nervine botanicals like lemon balm, kava, and chamomile, which work on the nervous system, can help naturally lower norepinephrine levels. There has been a lot of research on how adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha can help the nervous system adapt to stressors, which can reduce stress and anxiety in people who use them regularly. Melatonin has been shown to lower the amount of norepinephrine in the body because it helps the sympathetic tone.
Physical activity can help lower stress hormones and blood pressure. Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate and breathing rate, which lets more oxygen flow through your body. Meditation, yoga, and tai chi all focus on deep breathing, which can help the parasympathetic nervous system help fight stress. Some research shows that using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help lower norepinephrine levels, which are often high in people who are anxious or angry.
Many supplements are known to assist sleep and help you return to tranquil waters. Here are some of the better known and more widely used and studied ones available.
Lavender oil seems to have a soothing effect and reduces anxiety and restlessness. Most studies on lavender’s efficacy as a sleep aid have focused on lavender essential oil, though some people also use the dried herb as a tea or in their pillow. Essential oils should not be ingested except under a doctor’s supervision, as even lavender oil contains poisonous compounds. Instead, the oil should be diffused into the air or diluted in a neutral cream or oil for use on the skin. Lavender may be most appealing for people who struggle to sleep due to anxiety or racing thoughts. It is also popular among people who want an external sleep aid rather than something they consume. Short-term use of dried lavender or use of lavender essential oil is thought to be safe, though potential side effects for the external use of lavender oil include skin irritation and allergic reaction. Lavendar is also available as a clinically-studied supplement called Lavela WS 1265.
Valerian has been used for sleep problems since the 2nd century and been known to help people fund extreme relief. Though further research needs to be done, valerian appears to help people fall asleep faster, sleep better, and wake up less often. In some studies, patients taking valerian were 80% more likely to report sleep improvements than those taking a placebo. Because experts have not located a single active compound, they speculate that valerian’s effect may be due to several compounds working together, or the amino acids GABA or glycine. The roots and stems of the valerian plant are made into teas, tinctures, capsules, extracts, and tablets. While each type of preparation has its fans, the tea can have an unpleasant odor, and researchers generally use liquid extracts or capsules in their research. Valerian is usually recommended for people with insomnia or general problems with sleep quality. Most people report that it is more effective once they have been taking it for several weeks. However, further research is needed to determine how effective valerian is in treating insomnia. Valerian is generally considered safe for adults. Side effects are rare and tend to be mild but may include headache, dizziness, itching, and upset stomach.
German chamomile has been used to treat sleep problems since ancient Egypt. Despite this long history, there has been little research into its benefits. What we do know from smaller studies and meta-analysis is that German chamomile may soothe anxiety and improve sleep quality, although researchers are not clear on why it might have these effects.
On the other hand, it does not appear to benefit people with insomnia. The most common preparations of German chamomile are capsules, tincture, and tea. Although there is another variety called Roman chamomile, most research has focused on the German type. Chamomile is generally regarded as safe when used as a tea or taken orally. It does have potential interactions with some drugs, including blood thinners, and there is little information on its safety for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Side effects are usually limited to mild nausea or dizziness, but allergic reactions are possible, particularly for people with allergies to related plants like ragweed and daisies.
The passionflower vine is native to the Americas and has historically been used as a sedative by multiple indigenous cultures. There has been very little research into its benefits, though the existing research is encouraging, if limited. In one study focused on generalized anxiety disorder, passionflower’s calming effects were comparable to a commonly prescribed sedative. Passionflower may also improve sleep quality and make it easier to fall and stay asleep. Extracts and tea are both common forms of passionflower people use. Both have been used in research settings, so choosing between them is a matter of preference.
While research into this supplement shows potential benefits for anxiety and insomnia, there is no conclusive proof of its efficacy. There is little research into its safety. However, daily doses of up to 800 milligrams have been used safely in studies lasting as long as two months. Side effects are usually mild and may include drowsiness, confusion, and uncoordinated movements. Pregnant women should not use passionflower, as it can induce uterine contractions. There is limited research into its safety while breastfeeding.
In addition to being the main flavoring in beer, the flowers of the hops plant are used by some people as a natural sleep aid. Like most natural supplements, the benefits of hops have not been researched enough to definitively state whether it might help people sleep better. However, there is preliminary evidence that hops supplements can help stabilize circadian rhythms and lessen the symptoms of shift work disorder.
Dried hops flowers contain the acids humulone and lupulone, and their relationship with the body’s GABA receptors may be part of the reason for hops’ effects. Hops is often combined with other natural sleep aids such as valerian. It can be taken as non-alcoholic beer or in dried form as a tea or dry extract. Different studies have used all three methods, and there is no evidence in favor of one form over another. It is likely safe to consume hops in the form of non-alcoholic beer or tea, though supplemental use is only considered possibly safe due to the lack of research. Hops also has more potential side effects than some other natural sleep aids.
Because it has weak effects similar to estrogen, hops can cause changes to the menstrual cycle and is not recommended for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or who have hormone-sensitive cancers or other conditions. Hops can also worsen depression. However, for most people, side effects are mild and may include dizziness or sleepiness.
CBD is a chemical known as a cannabinoid that is present in the cannabis plant. Cannabis has over 100 cannabinoids, and CBD is much different than the psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabinoid. Most CBD is derived from hemp, which does not contain enough THC to be psychoactive. Research into CBD has previously been limited due to cannabis regulations, but there are indications that it might help some people sleep better. To begin with, it appears to reduce the anxious symptoms of a broad spectrum of mental health conditions. It also seems that the body’s own cannabinoid system affects how we sleep, making CBD more likely to have benefits.
There has been some evidence that CBD can aid some sleep disorders and reduce excessive daytime sleepiness, but research is currently inconclusive. Although CBD has been legal federally since 2018, it is not supposed to be sold as a dietary supplement. It is, however, widely available in forms such as tinctures, gummies, and oils. Because of this lack of regulatory oversight, one study found that 26% of CBD products had less CBD than they claimed, while 43% had much more. CBD appears to be largely safe with minor side effects such as tiredness, diarrhea, and changes to weight or appetite. However, its safety is unknown for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding CBD may interact with medications and adversely impact certain health conditions.
Tart Cherry Juice
Juice from the tart cherry, also known as the sour cherry, appears to raise melatonin levels and increase the availability of tryptophan, an amino acid that may play a role in helping people fall asleep. These are promising findings, and tart cherry juice may improve sleep quality and make it easier to fall asleep. However, some studies indicate that the effect on insomnia is not as strong as established treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy. Studies on the health benefits of tart cherries have had participants consume the equivalent of up to 270 cherries a day, but there is no specific research into their safety. The juice, which can be very sour, is usually diluted in a small amount of water before drinking.
Magnesium is a mineral naturally present in food and often added to processed foods. It is used throughout the body and is present in bones, soft tissue, and blood. Older adults are more at risk for magnesium deficiency, and one of the mineral’s many roles is sleep regulation. Some research suggests that supplemental magnesium may help reduce insomnia in older adults, either when used alone or with melatonin and zinc. It may also reduce excessive daytime sleepiness in adults.
Since high levels of magnesium are available in foods like pumpkin seeds, it is easy to supplement by eating more magnesium-rich foods. Magnesium supplements are also available in pills and tablets, including multivitamins. Magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, and magnesium chloride are the easiest for the body to absorb. While magnesium is usually safe at ordinary dietary levels since the kidneys filter it out, high dosages can cause side effects like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping.
Magnesium also interacts with some medication and other supplements, and very large dosages can lead to significant heart abnormalities including low blood pressure or hypotension, irregular heartbeat, and cardiac arrest.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in regulating nervous system activity and can possibly provide extreme relief. In addition to being made by the body and present in food like tea and tomatoes, GABA is available in supplement form. While it was previously believed that GABA taken orally could not pass the blood-brain barrier and was therefore not useful to the body, there is now some evidence to the contrary Small trials of supplemental GABA have shown that it can reduce stress and may help people fall asleep more easily.
It is not currently known whether GABA’s effects on sleep might be due to stress reduction or another mechanism. GABA naturally occurs in the body and in food, but there is little research into whether it is safe to take as a supplement. However, most studies have shown no adverse reactions. GABA is available in pills and may be derived from natural or synthetic sources. Research is still ongoing as to whether synthetic GABA is as effective as GABA derived from a natural source.
Like GABA, glycine is an amino acid and neurotransmitter made by the body and available in some foods. Glycine appears to affect sleep and pass the blood-brain barrier. Studies show that glycine appears to improve sleep quality, potentially by lowering body temperature. Taking glycine before bed may also help reduce the negative effects of insufficient sleep, which may be due to improved sleep quality or another mechanism. Supplemental glycine is available in capsule or powder form, and there is limited knowledge about what form might be most beneficial. While glycine is part of our diet, its safety is unknown when taken in the quantities usually found in supplements.
Are Natural Sleep Aids Safe?
Natural sleep aids are not universally safe or unsafe. Sold over the counter or online, natural sleep aids do not go through the same testing and review process as prescription medicines. In general, there is a lack of high-quality research about the effectiveness and safety of most natural sleep aids. As a result, many questions about natural sleep remedies remain unresolved. There are special considerations to keep in mind when evaluating the safety of natural sleep aids.
Many natural sleep remedies, when taken in the proper dosage by healthy adults, have few side effects. But this does not mean that all natural sleep aids are safe. As a precaution, adults should talk with their doctor or pharmacist before taking a natural sleep aid. Adults should also stop taking natural sleep aids if they notice any abnormal health changes or side effects.
Some natural sleep aids may be safe for use in children, though sleep hygiene should be encouraged before sleep aids are considered. In many cases, there is insufficient research in children to confidently evaluate the safety or efficacy of natural sleep aids. For certain natural sleep aids, such as melatonin, short-term use is generally considered to be safe for most children, but there is limited data about long-term use. To make sure that any medication or sleep aid does not affect their child’s health and development, parents should take precautions when considering natural sleep aids for their children, including:
Talking with their pediatrician first
Ensuring that the dosage is meant for children and not adults
Paying attention to the label and list of ingredients
Looking for high-quality products that are tested by third parties to reduce the risk of tainted or mislabeled supplements
Pregnant or Breastfeeding
People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should use caution with natural sleep aids. Many ingredients have not gone through rigorous testing in people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, so little is known about potential effects on their child. Although some products may be safe, the best approach for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding is to consult with their doctor prior to taking natural sleep aids.
Should You Talk to a Doctor Before Taking a Natural Sleep Aid?
It is advisable to talk with a doctor before starting to use any natural sleep aid. Even though these products are available without a prescription, your doctor may be able to help in several ways:
Reviewing your other medications and the potential for interactions between them and a natural sleep aid
Addressing your health history and the likelihood of adverse reactions from natural sleep aids
Understanding your sleeping problems and evaluating if they may be caused by an underlying sleep disorder that can be resolved with a more specific form of treatment
Discussing the potential benefits and risks of specific types of natural sleep aids
Offering suggestions about dosage or timing for taking natural sleep aids
Providing guidance about how to know whether a natural sleep aid is working or causing side-effects
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I or CBTI) is a short, structured, and evidence-based way to deal with the frustrating symptoms of insomnia and a proven way to find extreme relief.
How it Works
CBT-I tries to figure out how the way we think, what we do, and how we sleep are all linked. During treatment, a trained CBT-I provider helps figure out what thoughts, feelings, and actions are causing the insomnia symptoms. Thoughts and feelings about sleep are looked at and tested to see if they are true. Behaviors are also looked at to see if they help people get to sleep. Then, a provider will clear up or reframe any misunderstandings or problems in a way that makes it easier to sleep. Most treatments take between 6 and 8 sessions. The length can vary depending on what a person needs. When given by a primary care doctor, treatment can be as short as two visits.
People often call CBT-I a “multicomponent treatment” because it uses more than one method. Sessions can have educational, cognitive, and behavioral parts. Cognitive interventions include “cognitive restructuring,” which tries to change wrong or harmful ideas about sleep. Behavior changes can include relaxation training, controlling stimuli, and limiting sleep. All these help people relax and get into good sleep habits. At the heart of CBT-I is giving information about how thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and sleep are connected. The order and flow of each part can change based on how the provider works and what each person needs. Here are some CBT-I techniques that are often used:
People with insomnia may have wrong or dysfunctional thoughts about sleep, which can make them do things that make it harder to sleep. This reinforces the wrong or dysfunctional thoughts. For example, having trouble sleeping before can make it hard to fall asleep again. This worry might make you stay in bed for too long to try to sleep. Both stress and spending too much time in bed can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. This can turn into a frustrating nightly pattern that can be hard to break.
Cognitive restructuring starts to break this cycle by identifying, challenging, and changing the thoughts and beliefs that lead to insomnia. During treatment, common thoughts and beliefs that may be addressed include anxiety about past episodes of insomnia, having unrealistic expectations about sleep time and quality, and worrying about being tired during the day or other effects of not getting enough sleep. With the help of a trained provider who can help evaluate them more objectively, inaccurate thoughts can be found, challenged, and changed. Homework is often given so that students can practice these skills when they are not in class.
People who can’t sleep start to dread going to bed because they associate it with being awake and frustrated. They may also think of their bedroom as a place where they do things that make it hard to sleep, like eat, watch TV, or use a cell phone or computer. Stimulus control tries to change how these things are linked. During treatment, the bed is only used for sleeping and making love. Clients are told to get out of bed if they can’t fall asleep or if they’ve been awake for more than 10 minutes. They should only go back to bed when they’re tired again. Clients are told to set their alarms for the same time every morning and not to nap during the day.
Sleep Restriction and Compression
People with insomnia often lie awake in bed for too long. Sleep restriction limits how long a person can stay in bed so that they can get back on a regular sleep schedule. This technique is meant to make you want to sleep more and can temporarily make you feel more tired during the day. It is not recommended for people with health problems like bipolar disorder and seizures that can get worse when they don’t get enough sleep. Using a sleep diary, the first step in sleep restriction is to figure out how long a typical night of sleep is. The amount of time in bed is then changed by this amount plus 30 minutes.
For example, if a person wants to sleep 8 hours a night but only gets 5, they should change their bedtime so that they sleep for 5 hours and 30 minutes. Once a person spends most of their time in bed sleeping, they can start slowly extending the amount of time they spend there. Sleep compression is a slightly different method that is often used with older people because it is gentler. Instead of immediately cutting down the amount of time they spend in bed to the amount of sleep they get on an average night, the time they spend in bed is gradually cut down until it is close to the amount of time they spend sleeping.
Relaxation techniques can help ease the stress and racing thoughts that come with lying awake in bed. These methods can boost the body’s natural ability to calm down. This is good for both the body and the mind. The best ways to relax are those that are easy to fit into a person’s daily life. Here are a few CBT-I techniques that are often used to help people relax: Breathing exercises: CBT-I can teach many different breathing exercises. Most of these exercises have you take slow, deep breaths. Research has shown that focused breathing can slow down your heart rate and breathing, as well as make you feel less anxious, angry, and sad.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): PMR is a method in which different muscle groups are tense and then relaxed. These techniques can be used with guided imagery or breathing exercises. Autogenic training is a way to focus on different parts of the body and pay attention to certain feelings. A person can pay attention to feelings like weight, warmth, or relaxation. Biofeedback is a technique that uses technology to help keep track of things like brain waves, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. People may be able to learn to have more control over these processes if they use the information that electronic devices give them. Guided or self-hypnosis can help people who have trouble sleeping by teaching them how to relax when given a verbal or non-verbal cue.
Meditation has many benefits, such as lowering stress and anxiety and making it easier to relax. Meditation can also be done through practices like yoga and tai chi that combine focused attention with movement.
A core part of CBT-I is teaching clients how important good sleep hygiene is. Good sleep hygiene means doing more things that help you sleep and lessening or getting rid of things that make it hard to sleep. Some of the things that might be talked about are how diet, exercise, and the place you sleep affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
CBT-I is a group process, and practicing the skills you learn in sessions is important. A common part of treatment is giving the patient homework. Between sessions, you might have to do things like keep a sleep diary, practice questioning automatic thoughts or beliefs when they come up and improve your sleep hygiene.
Is CBT-I helpful?
When these techniques are used together as part of CBT-I with multiple components, between 70% and 80% of people with primary insomnia feel better. It takes less time to fall asleep, you sleep longer, and you wake up less often during sleep. Results tend to stay the same over time. For some people, CBT-I works better than medications. This treatment has also been shown to work for people who are more likely than others to have trouble sleeping, such as pregnant women.
CBT-I is thought to help with many kinds of insomnia. It may even help people with short-term insomnia. This means that CBT-I may be useful for treating insomnia symptoms even if they don’t meet the criteria for chronic insomnia. Even though this treatment for insomnia has been shown to be very effective, it doesn’t always work right away. It can take time to learn and use the skills that are taught in therapy.
Some methods, like controlling what you do before bed and getting less sleep, can help you change your sleep habits slowly. Some people find it helpful to keep track of their progress over time so they can see small improvements that can encourage them to keep going with treatment. If CBT-I alone doesn’t help with insomnia symptoms, the American College of Physicians suggests talking to a doctor about the risks and benefits of taking sleep medications along with CBT-I.
Does CBT-I Have Risks?
For CBT-I to work, you need to be willing to face your negative thoughts and actions. Even though the risks of treatment are likely to be low, it may sometimes be painful. Talking about painful memories, thoughts, and feelings can be hard and may cause stress and discomfort in the short term. Working with a trained CBT-I professional can help reduce the risks of this treatment because they know how to give support and tools to deal with temporary problems or setbacks.
Who Gives CBT-I?
CBT-I is usually given by a doctor, counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist who has been trained to do so. Professional groups like the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine and the American Board of Sleep Medicine can help you find CBT-I practitioners. There aren’t enough CBT-I professionals to meet the demand right now because so many people need this treatment. Researchers have come up with new ways to offer CBT-I, like digital, group, and self-help formats.
Several digital CBT-I (sometimes called dCBT-I or dCBT) apps have been made to keep up with this trend, lower the cost of treatment, and give more people access to the benefits of CBT-I. The Department of Veterans Affairs has its own app called CBT-I Coach. It can be used by both veterans and people who are not veterans. Different online resources and smartphone apps that offer dCBT-I have different purposes and require different amounts of help from the provider.
Some resources just help people while they work with a trained CBT-I provider in person, while others are fully automated and don’t need any help from a clinician. Other resources and apps are a mix of the two, letting people work through a pre-set program and have regular feedback sessions with a professional through e-mail or the phone. Digital CBT-I works well to treat insomnia in kids, teens, and adults.
Even though only a few studies have directly compared dCBT-I and face-to-face approaches, it seems that both help people with insomnia feel better.
In some cases, doctors will prescribe drugs for the treatment of insomnia. All insomnia medications should be taken shortly before bed. Do not attempt to drive or perform other activities that require concentration after taking an insomnia drug because it will make you sleepy and can increase your risk for accidents. Medications should be used in combination with good sleep practices. Here are some medications that can be used to treat insomnia:
Some antidepressant drugs, such as trazodone (Desyrel), are very good at treating sleeplessness and anxiety.
These older sleeping pills — emazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), and others — may be useful when you want an insomnia medication that stays in the system longer. For instance, they have been effectively used to treat sleep problems such as sleepwalking and night terrors. These medications have some serious downsides. They can cause addiction and dependence. Dependence means that you have physical withdrawal when you stop them. Also, there is a black box warning against their use with opioids, because both depress respiration and increase your risk of overdose.
This sleep drug is approved for use in people who have trouble staying asleep. Silenor may help with sleep maintenance by blocking histamine receptors. Do not take this drug unless you have time to get a full 7 or 8 hours of sleep.
Lunesta also helps you fall asleep quickly, and studies show people sleep an average of 7 to 8 hours while on it. Don’t take Lunesta unless you are able to get a full night’s sleep as it could cause grogginess. Because of the risk of impairment the next day, the FDA recommends the starting dose of Lunesta be no more than 1 milligram.
This drug is approved for people who have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. It works by suppressing the part of the central nervous system that keeps you awake. It may cause you to feel sleepy the next day.
This sleep medication works differently than the others. It works by targeting the sleep-wake cycle, not by depressing the central nervous system. It is prescribed for people who have trouble falling asleep. Rozerem can be prescribed for long-term use, and the drug has shown no evidence of abuse or dependence.
It works by blocking a hormone that promotes wakefulness and causes insomnia. It is approved by the FDA to treat people that have insomnia due to an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep. The drug may cause you to feel sleepy the following day.
Of all the newer sleeping pills, Sonata stays active in the body for the shortest amount of time. That means you can try to fall asleep on your own, then, if you’re still staring at the clock at 2 a.m., you can take it without feeling drowsy in the morning. But if you tend to wake during the night, this might not be the best choice for you.
Zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo)
These medicines work well at helping you get to sleep, but some people tend to wake up in the middle of the night. Zolpidem is now available in an extended-release version, Ambien CR. This may help you go to sleep and stay asleep longer. The FDA warns that you should not drive or do anything that requires you to be alert the day after taking Ambien CR because it stays in the body a long time. You should not take zolpidem unless you are able to get a full night’s sleep — at least 7 to 8 hours.
In rare instances, these medications have been known to cause injuries because of behaviors while asleep or partially asleep such as sleep walking and sleep driving, among others. The FDA has approved a prescription oral spray called Zolpimist, which contains zolpidem, for the short-term treatment of insomnia brought on by trouble falling asleep. If these medications don’t work for you, your doctor may suggest something off-label. These are medications used to treat conditions they weren’t originally made for.
Older antidepressants are sometimes prescribed to treat insomnia because they change brain chemicals, which can help regulate sleep. These older medications also tend to have a sedative effect or make you sleepy. They include:
Mirtazapine (Remeron SolTab, Remeron)
Nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor)
The FDA issued warnings for prescription sleep drugs, alerting patients that they can cause rare allergic reactions and complex sleep-related behaviors, including “sleep driving.” They also warned people that taking sleeping medication at night can impair their ability to drive or be fully alert — even the next day. Keep in mind that sleep drugs are not for long-term use.
Talk to your doctor if you’re still having trouble sleeping after 2 weeks. For a short time, a sleeping pill can help you sleep better. But it’s important to know everything about sleeping pills that you need to know. That means knowing about the side effects of sleeping pills. If you do, you can avoid using these sleep aids in the wrong way.
What are sleeping pills?
The name for most sleeping pills is “sedative hypnotics.” That’s a group of drugs that help people fall asleep or stay asleep. Benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and other hypnotics are examples of sedative hypnotics. Anti-anxiety drugs like Ativan, Librium, Valium, and Xanax are called benzodiazepines. They also make people feel sleepy and help them fall asleep. Halcion is an older sedative-hypnotic benzodiazepine drug that has been mostly replaced by newer drugs. Even though these drugs may help in the short term, all benzodiazepines have the potential to become addicting and can make it hard to remember things and pay attention.
Most of the time, they are not recommended as a long-term solution for trouble sleeping. Barbiturates are another type of sedative-hypnotic drug. They slow down the central nervous system and can make you sleepy. As sedatives or sleeping pills, barbiturates can have a short or long effect.
Most of the time, though, these drugs are only used as anesthesia. If you take too much, they can kill you. Newer drugs help you fall asleep more quickly. Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata are all sleep-inducing drugs that bind to the same brain receptors as benzodiazepines. They are less likely to cause physical dependence than benzodiazepines, but they can still sometimes do so over time. They can work quickly to make you feel sleepy and help you fall asleep.
Rozerem is a different kind of sleep aid from the ones we’ve already talked about. It changes melatonin, a hormone in the brain, and it’s not addictive. Belsomra is a unique sleep aid that works on a chemical in the brain called orexin. It is not addictive. Silenor, a low-dose version of the tricyclic antidepressant doxepin, is another non-addictive sleep aid.
What do sleeping pills do to your body?
Like most medicines, sleeping pills can make you feel bad in other ways. But you won’t know if a certain sleeping pill will cause side effects until you try it. If you have asthma or other health problems, your doctor may be able to tell you about some side effects. Sleeping pills can make it hard to breathe normally and can be dangerous for people with asthma, emphysema, or some types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Sleeping pills like Ambien, Halcion, Lunesta, Rozerem, and Sonata often have the following side effects:
Hands, arms, feet, or legs that burn or tingle
Changes in appetite
Dry throat or mouth
Impairment the following day
Slowing of the mind or trouble paying attention or remembering
Pain or tenderness in the stomach
Shaking of a body part that can’t be stopped
It’s important to know about the possible side effects of sleeping pills so you can stop taking them and call your doctor right away if you start to feel sick.
Sleeping Pills and Older Adults
Experts say you shouldn’t use any sleep aids if you’re 65 or older. This includes both over-the-counter drugs and newer “Z” drugs like eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien). When taking sleep aids, older adults are more likely to get sick than younger people. When you’re older, sleeping pills tend to stay in your system longer.
After taking them, you might feel sleepy all day. Confusion and trouble remembering things are also known to happen. This could cause older people to trip and fall, break their hips, or get into car accidents. Some over-the-counter sleep aids can cause other side effects that are hard for older people to deal with. You might have a dry mouth. You could also be constipated and have trouble going to the bathroom.
Before you decide to take sleeping pills, talk to your doctor. They may suggest that you get a medical exam to find out what’s causing your sleep problems, such as depression, anxiety, or a sleep disorder. Your doctor will also give you ideas for how to treat your inability to sleep without drugs.
Are there sleep-aid side effects that are more complicated?
Some sleeping pills have side effects that could be harmful, such as parasomnia. Parasomnias are movements, behaviors, and actions like sleepwalking that you can’t stop. During a parasomnia, you’re asleep and don’t know what’s going on around you. Parasomnias are complicated sleep behaviors that can happen when you take sleeping pills.
For example, you might eat, talk on the phone, or have sex while you’re sleeping. Another bad side effect of sleeping pills is sleep driving, which is driving while not fully awake. Even though parasomnias are rare, they are hard to notice once the medicine starts to work. On the labels of sleep aids and hypnotics, there is information about the possible risks of taking a sleeping pill. Because complex sleep behaviors are more likely to happen if you take more than what your doctor tells you to, don’t take more than what your doctor tells you to.
Can I have an allergic reaction to sleep aids?
Yes. People can be allergic to any medicine. The allergy could be caused by the medicine’s active ingredient or by one of its inactive ingredients, like dyes, binders, or coatings. People who are allergic to a certain sleeping pill should stay away from it. At the first sign of any of these serious side effects, you should talk to your doctor right away:
Blurry vision or any other eye problems
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Feeling like your throat is closing
Rapidly beating heart
Eye, face, lip, tongue, or throat swelling
Also, anaphylaxis is a serious side effect that can even kill someone who is allergic to a medicine. Anaphylaxis is a sudden reaction to an allergy. Angioedema, which is a severe swelling of the face, is another possible side effect. Again, if you are allergic, you should talk to your doctor about these possibilities.
When do I take a pill to help me sleep?
Most of the time, it’s best to take a sleeping pill right before you want to go to bed. Read the instructions your doctor wrote on the label of the sleeping pill. There is specific information about your medicine in the directions. Also, always give yourself enough time to sleep before taking a sleeping pill.
TENS Units, which use electrical stimulation, are the least talked about way to help people sleep, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. In one study, people with chronic insomnia took part in an open trial to see how well low frequency electrical stimulation helped them sleep. Fifty-four people were studied for four weeks. A TENS Unit was put on their trapezius muscle five days a week, 30 minutes to an hour before bed. The study’s results showed that low-frequency electrical stimulation made poor sleep and insomnia a lot easier to deal with. This also made people feel less sleepy during the day, which helped improve their overall quality of life. There are many high-quality TENS machines available online. Some of the best options are made by Oxiline.
EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation)
Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) technology supports muscle recovery and helps reduce tension and muscle discomfort, thereby supporting better sleep. From professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts to busy moms and everyday people who experience muscle pain or muscle atrophy, electric muscle stimulation offers a safe, scientifically sound way to support fitness recovery, decrease muscle pain and enhance a healthy sleep schedule. EMS devices typically come with a dual function which includes TENS. There are many viable options, but for a wide variety of choices, you can check out Therabody.
There are many reports that acupuncture helps a lot with insomnia with very few side-effects, but there has yet to be a systematic study of its efficacy and safety.
People often get the wrong idea about hypnosis because of how it is shown in movies and TV shows. Because of this, it is often overlooked or written off as a possible treatment for a wide range of health problems. When done in a specific way, hypnosis can help a person pay attention in a way that makes it easier for them to listen to suggestions that can help them change the way they think and act. Early research shows that it may help people with insomnia and other sleep problems and has few side effects.
Before starting sleep hypnosis, it’s important to know what it is, how it works, what its pros and cons are, and how to get the most out of it. Hypnosis is a state of mind where a person is very focused on a single thought or image. This makes them less aware of their surroundings and can make them seem to be in a trance-like state.
During hypnosis, the brain activity of a person changes, making them more open to new ideas. Hypnotherapy has been shown to help with pain and some side effects of cancer treatment, among other health problems. It can help with some mental health problems.
Hypnosis does not control the mind. During hypnosis, a person is usually more receptive to suggestions, but they still have control over what they do. Most worries about mind control come from stage shows or TV shows that don’t show how hypnosis is used in real medicine. Even though some people who are very easy to hypnotize may seem to be completely controlled by a hypnotist, decades of research show that hypnosis is not the same as mind control. Hypnosis does not involve falling asleep. Instead, a person stays awake, but their attention is fixed in a way that might make them look like they are in a trance or just not paying attention.
Sleep hypnosis is when hypnotherapy is used to help people who have trouble sleeping. Sleep hypnosis is not meant to make someone fall asleep during the hypnosis. Instead, it changes bad sleep-related thoughts or habits so that the person can sleep better after hypnotherapy. Hypnosis can help people sleep, but it can be used with other treatments as well. For instance, it can be used with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).. Sleep hypnosis may also help people develop better sleep habits and better sleep hygiene.
Essential oils are oils derived from plants, usually by crushing and steam distilling parts of the plant. A variety of essential oils have been used as medical treatments since ancient times. Aromatherapy involves inhaling essential oil scents or vapor in hopes of obtaining positive health effects. Research demonstrates that because smell affects sleep, incorporating certain essential oils into your bedtime routine may help people sleep better. Learn about the best essential oils for sleep to determine which ones you want to bring into your bedroom environment.
Lavender, a purple flowering shrub, seems to be the plant with the essential oil that is most studied by scientists. This essential oil calms the nervous system, primarily due to the chemical compounds linalool and linalyl acetate found within it. Many studies demonstrate lavender’s positive effect on sleep in a variety of people. People with insomnia — especially women, younger people, and those with mild insomnia — reported improved sleep after breathing in steam filled with lavender essential oil. In students, exposure to lavender aroma at nighttime reduced sleepiness upon waking the following day. Ischemic heart disease patients sleeping in a hospital’s intensive care unit experienced improved quality of sleep after hours of lavender aromatherapy. Women between ages 45 and 55 experienced improved sleep quality after lavender aromatherapy. Hospital patients with coronary artery disease experienced improved sleep and reduced anxiety after inhaling a lavender essential oil. Postpartum mothers who inhaled lavender essential oil and kept cotton balls soaked with lavender essential oil in the room as they slept enjoyed improved sleep. Lavender can be put on a pillow to be inhaled during the night or combined with other oils and used for massage, as it is easily absorbed by the skin. Combining lavender aromatherapy with sleep hygiene techniques improves sleep more than lavender alone.
Bergamot is a fragrant herb native to North America, often grown to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Research suggests bergamot may help with a variety of ailments. Sometimes, bergamot is ingested in extract form or as a juice. Bergamot essential oil may also be inhaled or diffused throughout a room.
When bergamot essential oil is experienced as aromatherapy, it may lower blood pressure and improve mental health. These calming properties might be why bergamot is thought to improve sleep. However, many sleep studies involving bergamot use essential oil mixtures rather than bergamot oil alone, making it difficult to determine the precise effects bergamot essential oil has on sleep. One such study of healthy women found that a mixture of bergamot and sandalwood essential oils improved sleep quality in 64% of study participants. Another study of people in cardiac rehabilitation found that sleep quality significantly increased after exposure to an aromatherapy mixture of bergamot, lavender, and ylang-ylang.
There are two types of chamomile plants: Roman and German. These plant varieties are similar, although they have different combinations of active ingredients and, as a result, potentially different effects. Roman chamomile essential oil is more known for reducing anxiety, while German chamomile is known for relieving pain.
If a person experiences anxiety or pain that interferes with sleep, reducing those symptoms could in turn improve sleep. The effect drinking chamomile tea has on sleep is more commonly studied, but people do engage in chamomile aromatherapy for sleep as well. Roman chamomile, lavender, and neroli is an essential oil blend for sleep that has been scientifically studied. This blend reduced anxiety and improved sleep quality in a study of patients staying in an intensive care unit.
If you would like to reduce anxiety as part of your sleep hygiene routine, chamomile is one of the best essential oils for sleep and anxiety. In one study, inhaling a mixture of chamomile and lavender essential oils reduced anxiety in nurses. There was an even greater reduction when aromatherapy was paired with music. In another study, Roman chamomile aromatherapy reduced anxiety in pregnant women.
If you enjoy woodsy scents, consider incorporating cedarwood essential oil as you create your ideal bedroom for sleep. Cedarwood oil has a sedative effect due to a chemical compound called cedrol. The sedative effects of cedrol have been studied in both animals and humans. Inhaling an essential oil mixture that contains cedrol has been demonstrated to improve sleep quality in both young, healthy adults and older adults with dementia, likely because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
Researchers recommend using cedarwood oil for at least 20 nights to see effects. Cedarwood oil, along with other essential oils, may increase total sleep time and reduce early morning awakenings. Cedarwood oil appears to be versatile, improving sleep in a variety of different types of people. One study focused on women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s living in Japan, Norway, and Thailand. Cedrol had a sedative effect across groups, even though women in different countries had different baseline levels of anxiety and average sleep times.
Clary Sage Oil
Native to southern Europe, clary sage is an herb. Although it isn’t the same plant as the popular dried herb sage, it is often used similarly for flavoring foods. Some people may also use clary sage essential oil for its sleep-promoting properties. Studies show that clary sage oil has an antidepressant effect and reduces cortisol levels. Since cortisol impacts circadian rhythms and appears to be tied to alertness, reducing cortisol may promote sleep.
Clary sage may also improve sleep by reducing anxiety. In one study, clary sage oil inhalation appeared to reduce stress in medical patients by lowering their blood pressure and respiratory rate. If anxiety interferes with your ability to sleep and you enjoy the smell of herbs, clary sage oil might be a good option for you.
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Therapy Solutions presents three free chapters from “The Anxiety Book: How to Minimize Anxiety Naturally”
Chapter 5: Psychology
Therapy could be a solution since your own thoughts could be causing or exacerbating your anxiety. Joy wellness can be found. Sometimes, we have anxious thoughts because of neurochemical issues and sometimes we have neurochemical issues because of anxious thoughts. It’s difficult to say which comes first and how much they feed into one another. Other than therapy, here are some solutions on how to deal with and improve upon anxious thought patterns.
This can bring increased comfort, relaxation, pleasantness, vigor and alertness, joy wellness, and reduced symptoms of arousal, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion.
If you find you can force yourself to exercise, it can have tremendous benefits. Exercise is well-known for its physical benefits, and it has long been recommended for mental well-being, joy, and wellness. However, scientists are getting closer to figuring out just how exercise works its brain magic. They are learning that exercise has a significant impact on brain structure, particularly in areas impacted by depression and schizophrenia. Other, more subtle effects include increased attention, a sense of achievement, and occasionally social stimulation, all of which are therapeutic in and of themselves. While more physical exercise is always preferable, even small amounts of physical activity, such as a daily stroll, can have a huge impact on mental health.
“Physical activity is a really powerful intervention,” says Anders Hovland, a clinical psychologist at the University of Bergen in Norway. However, modifying the structure of the brain isn’t the only way that physical activity may help people with mental illnesses. According to Smith, the practice of exercising can be beneficial in and of itself by modifying people’s mental habits. Simply doing something — anything — can be beneficial in and of itself for persons with mental health concerns since it focuses their attention and stops them from obsessing on their situation. Indeed, one review of the data revealed that placebo exercise — that is, moderate stretching that is too light to have any physiological effect — had almost half the positive impact on mental health as vigorous exercise.
Regular exercises not only occupy the mind, but they also provide exercisers with a definite sense of progress as their strength and conditioning increase. According to Gordon, this sense of success — which may be especially noticeable in weight training, where people make rapid, easily observable increases — might help alleviate some of the stress of anxiety and melancholy. If that’s the case, learning to play a musical instrument, learning a language, and a variety of other hobbies might help people cope with mental health issues in a similar way. But exercise has additional benefits, making it one of the finest ways to manage mental health.
“Anything can provide advantages,” Firth adds, “but exercise may provide larger benefits, wellness, and joy.” For one reason, moderate exercise trains people to tolerate short-term discomfort in exchange for long-term benefits. People with anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or panic attacks, have a diminished ability to bear mental discomfort, thus events that most people would manage with result in uncontrollable distress.
There’s now evidence that regular exercise increases tolerance for internal discomfort, which might explain why it’s so effective at controlling these disorders. However, there are certain drawbacks to using exercise as a mental health treatment. Even mild movement, such as moving around every now and then during the day rather than sitting for long periods of time, may be beneficial. Aaron Kandola, a psychiatric epidemiologist at University College London, and his colleagues discovered that teenagers who engaged in more light exercise during the day had a reduced incidence of depressive symptoms than those who spent more time sitting in a study of almost 4,000 adolescents in the UK.
Force Yourself to Do Something You Normally Enjoy
You don’t even have to enjoy it. Just do it anyway. It may bring some benefits. It may not. It will very unlikely make things worse. But the chances are, you’ll enjoy it at least a little bit, and it might give you the energy and motivation to do something else afterwards, creating a snowball effect.
Talk to a Friend or Professional
Talking about your problems with a friend is proven to be beneficial, but even if you don’t want to talk about what’s going on with you, just chatting can be a great help. If you don’t have a friend you can talk to when you need it most, just text “Home” to 714714, and you’ll be connected, through texting, to a 24/7 crisis counseling line, which you can utilize as often as you need. I’m a crisis counselor for this program and can vouch for its excellence as a program.
Depression and anxiety sap a person’s energy to do just about anything—even activities they enjoy. As a result, people with depression tend to become less active, which causes the depression to worsen. However, even a little bit of activity can help stop this cycle.
Social isolation is a common symptom of depression. Related issues—such as fatigue, lowered self-esteem, and anxiety—exacerbate this problem. Resisting social isolation, and instead leaning on social support, can improve resilience to stress and depression. As you can see, a lot of the time, you do the opposite of what you want.
Lean on your existing relationships.
Make it a priority to socialize with friends or family every day. If this is proving difficult, or if no one is nearby, plan times to interact remotely. Try cooking together on a video call, playing a game together, or sharing a coffee over the phone. Maybe you’re doing the opposite of what you want.
Say “yes” to socializing.
Depression makes it tempting to stay home, isolated from friends and family. Make a habit of saying “yes” to social opportunities, even when you’re tempted to stay in. You do the opposite of what you want.
Join a support group.
Support groups let you connect with others who are dealing with issues like yours. You’ll benefit from sharing and receiving advice and support, helping you find joy wellness.
Three Good Things
Negative thinking is a defining feature of depression. Positive experiences are minimized, while negative experiences are magnified. Gratitude helps combat this tendency by shifting focus toward positive experiences, rather than negative ones. Write about three positive experiences from your day. These experiences can be small (“The weather was perfect when I walked to work”) or big (“I got a promotion at work”).
Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment. It means taking a step back and noticing the world, and one’s thoughts and feelings, without judgment. The goal of mindfulness is to simply observe. Mindfulness helps reduce the worry and rumination that often accompanies depression. One way to practice mindfulness is through meditation. During mindfulness meditation, you will simply sit and focus your attention on the sensation of breathing. By focusing on your breathing, you will put yourself in the here-and-now.
Time and Place
Find a quiet, comfortable place where you can practice mindfulness for 15 to 30 minutes every day. Frequent and consistent practice leads to the best results, but some practice is better than none.
Sit in a chair or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes or let your gaze soften. Let your head, shoulders, arms, and legs relax. Adjust your posture whenever you feel uncomfortable.
Awareness of Breath
Focus on your breathing. Notice the sensation of the air as it travels in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice the gentle rise and fall of your belly.
During meditation, it’s normal for the mind to wander. When this happens, gently turn your attention back to your breathing. You may need to do this frequently throughout your practice. Focus on your breathing. Tell yourself that again and again. Focus on your breathing.
Chapter 6: GABA
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It reduces a nerve cell’s capacity to produce, receive, or communicate chemical signals with other nerve cells. Changing levels of GABA are connected to a wide range of medical conditions. The GABA receptor is the target of numerous medications.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): What is it?
In your brain, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) functions as a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger. By obstructing particular signals in your central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord), it slows down your brain. GABA is well known for its calming effects. It is believed to have a significant impact on regulating nerve cell hyperactivity linked to anxiety, stress, and fear. GABA is also known as a neurotransmitter made up of non-protein amino acids.
What is the mechanism of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)?
Your central nervous system’s most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter is GABA. Inhibitory neurotransmitters reduce the stimulation of nerve cells in your brain by preventing or blocking chemical messages. Most neurotransmitters function in a similar manner. They are chemical messengers that transfer information between nerve cells in your brain. A synapse, which is a tiny area filled with fluid between each nerve cell, is present. Neurotransmitters must pass through this synapse to reach the next nerve cell, where they must bind to specific receptors, much like a key that can only fit and function in its complementary lock. GABA-A and GABA-B are the two different types of GABA receptors found on nerve cells. The responsiveness of the nerve cell is decreased when GABA binds to these receptors, despite the fact that they function in various ways. As an inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA reduces a nerve cell’s capacity to produce, receive, or transmit chemical signals to other nerve cells.
What are GABA’s health advantages?
GABA is thought to have the following effects by slowing down specific brain processes:
Calm your nerves.
Improve your sleep.
What connection does glutamate have to GABA?
Your brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA, prevents the transmission of chemical signals from one nerve cell to another. The primary excitatory neurotransmitter in your brain, glutamate, on the other hand, enables the transmission of chemical messages from one nerve cell to another. The inhibitory effects of GABA and the excitatory effects of glutamate must coexist in a delicate balance for the brain to function properly. Along with serotonin, GABA collaborates with another neurotransmitter. In actuality, a healthy body and brain depend on a variety of neurotransmitters that interact and compete with one another in specific ways. Actually, the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase reacts with glutamate to produce GABA.
Which medical conditions are related to variations in GABA levels?
It is believed that certain neurologic and mental health issues are connected to periods when GABA messaging activity (or “signaling”) is out of balance and not functioning properly. Reduced GABA activity could lead to:
Mood and anxiety disorders
What drugs specifically target GABA?
The GABA receptors are the target of numerous medications. These consist of:
Benzodiazepines. The GABA-A receptor is the target of this class of medications, which also includes diazepam (Valium®) and alprazolam (Xanax®). Surgery, the treatment of epilepsy, REM sleep disorders, alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, essential tremor, and muscle spasticity all benefit from the use of benzodiazepines.
Barbiturates. These sedative medications.
Sabil® brand of vigabatrin. This medication is used to treat infant seizures and spasms.
(Romazicon®) Flumazenil. The overdose of benzodiazepines is treated with this medicine. Additionally, it helps those with hepatic encephalopathy’s mental state.
Valproate Acid. Both a mood stabilizer and an anti-seizure drug, this one.
Zolpidem (Edluar®, Ambien®). This is a hypnotic-sedative. Insomnia is treated with it.
(Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant) Gabapentin. This medication is used to treat nerve pain, seizures, insomnia, and anxiety.
Propofol, also known as Diprivan®. General anesthesia uses this medication as a sedative.
Gablofen®, Lioresal®, and Baclofen. This medication relaxes muscles and is often prescribed for anxiety.
GABA as a Dietary Supplement? GABA is a dietary supplement that is offered. The majority of it, though, might not be able to penetrate your brain. (In technical parlance, this is referred to as “crossing the blood-brain barrier.” The barrier is a special membrane that only lets specific molecules travel to and from your brain through it. Therefore, it is unknown whether taking dietary GABA supplements will have any effects on your brain. There isn’t enough solid scientific evidence to date to back up the use of a GABA supplement to treat ailments. More research with more participants is required.
Do foods contain GABA?
Some fermented foods, like kimchi, miso, and tempeh, contain GABA. It can also be found in oolong, green, and black tea. Brown rice, soy, and adzuki beans, chestnuts, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sprouted grains, and sweet potatoes are additional foods that either contain GABA or help your body produce more of it. It’s unclear whether eating foods containing GABA enables GABA to enter your brain, similar to supplements. More studies involving sizable participant numbers are required. The most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter in your central nervous system is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
GABA reduces a nerve cell’s capacity to produce, receive, or communicate chemical signals to other nerve cells. GABA is well known for its calming effects. It is believed to be extremely important in managing stress, anxiety, and fear. Several neurological and mental health conditions, as well as other medical conditions, have been linked to decreased GABA levels. Increasing GABA levels may aid in the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, and insomnia. The GABA receptor is a primary target of drug development by pharmaceutical companies due to the high levels of GABA in your brain. More people need to be studied to determine how well GABA supplements and foods work to prevent and treat medical conditions. Speak with your healthcare provider about the best course of action for treating your medical condition before buying GABA supplements or consuming specific foods that contain GABA.
Chapter 7: Oxytocin
Although the symptoms of generalized social anxiety disorder are sometimes alleviated by antidepressant medicines such as Prozac, and tranquilizers such as Valium, these medications do not work for everyone. The researchers looked at the anxiety-reducing effects of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter sometimes called the “love hormone” for its ability to reduce stress and promote pro-social behaviors such as trust, empathy, and openness to social risk. Oxytocin has now been shown to make the amygdala less reactive to pictures of threatening or fearful faces. Previous research identified the amygdala as a crucial brain area for emotional processing.
In a paper appearing August 6th in Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers expanded on previous findings showing oxytocin’s influence on the amygdala. The research team was led by Stephanie M. Gorka, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois and included Pradeep Nathan, Ph.D., of Cambridge University (formally Monash University), recipient of a 2007 NARSAD Independent Investigator grant. They examined how oxytocin affects connections between the amygdala and other parts of the brain in people with anxiety disorder. As study participants viewed fearful faces, brain scans with functional MRI showed that the amygdala communicated significantly less with other parts of the brain in those with generalized social anxiety, compared to those not diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
The less connected the amygdala was to other brain regions, the higher the anxious participants’ baseline stress levels were. Importantly, oxytocin reversed those trends by increasing amygdala connectivity in anxiety patients, while decreasing amygdala connectivity in everyone else. These findings suggest that oxytocin can have specific effects in people with anxiety through its influence on the amygdala.
More broadly, the fact that oxytocin had opposite effects in the two participant groups indicates that the neurotransmitter’s success in reducing stress and promoting social behavior depends on individual brain characteristics, which differ between those with anxiety and those without the disorder. Thus, while oxytocin continues to show promise as a potential treatment for anxiety, it may not promote positive social behaviors in everyone. As noted by Professor Nathan and colleagues, these findings are preliminary.
To better assess how presumed changes in the brain influence actual experiences of anxiety, further research is needed to test oxytocin on more people with and without anxiety disorders. This, the scientists say, will be crucial in determining whether and exactly how oxytocin can improve treatment for anxiety disorders. Foods that may increase oxytocin include:
Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with common chemical imbalances. Following that, are how certain supplements, medications, and drugs affect these various chemicals, therapy that can be trusted. If something is left blank, that means I was unable to find information one way or another. If something is marked “n/a,” that means there is little to no effect done in that regard.
Depression and other mood problems
Post-traumatic stress disorder
You lack motivation
You can’t concentrate
You’re moody or anxious
You don’t feel pleasure from previously enjoyable experiences
You’re depressed; you feel hopeless
You have a low sex drive
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Low blood pressure (hypotension)
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Rapid or irregular heartbeat
Cold or pale skin
Nervous feeling, jitters
Pheochromocytoma, which is an adrenal gland tumor
Fatigue and morning sluggishness
Weakened immune system and increased susceptibility to infection and sickness
Loss of resilience in stressful situations
Brain fog or mid-day lack of focus
Cravings for salty or sweet foods
rapid weight gain mainly in the face, chest and abdomen contrasted with slender arms and legs
a flushed and round face
high blood pressure
skin changes (bruises and purple stretch marks)
mood swings, which show as anxiety, depression or irritability.
It’s common knowledge that medications have side-effects. For joyful healing to take place, we need to minimize these. It doesn’t take inspired psychology to figure that out. A “side-effect” is any effect other than the desired effect. “Side-effects” don’t objectively exist. Everything a drug does is just its effects, but since we often take, for example, an anti-depressant to decrease depression, any of its effects that don’t contribute to this goal are known as side-effects.
We are not usually told why a drug has a particular side-effect or what to do about it. A lot of the time, your doctor may not even know, making joyful healing nearly impossible at times.
In addition to a drug’s immediate side-effects, there are also the long-term consequences that may or may not occur. These are also not typically discussed.
Since none of these things are mentioned, preventative measures are also not mentioned. Are side-effects and long-term health consequences inevitable, or is there something we can do about them?
Well, it depends on the drug, the side-effects, the health problems, the person, and so on. Considering how complicated it is, it might make sense why the subject is avoided altogether. Unfortunately, that leaves it up to us to figure these things out. You can ask your doctor directly about these issues and you may or may not get an answer, and the answer may or may not be accurate or complete or helpful. It may be comforting to pretend that doctors know everything there is to know that’s relevant to whatever issue you’re dealing with, but the vast body of knowledge that exists on these subjects far outweighs the amount of knowledge a single person can obtain in a matter of a decade of education or another decade or two of experience practicing.
We need to be informed patients. We can’t be at the mercy of our doctor’s every whim. We can’t blindly trust their every conclusion. Doing so may work sometimes. If you’re lucky, it will work a lot of the time. But it will not work always. It’s common to believe that society has advanced to a point in science where all, or even most, questions have been answered, and we now have it all figured out. Yet, most of the information on most medications will admit that it is unknown how exactly this medication works.
All that is known for certain is that the medication often does work and rarely causes horrifying or deadly side-effects, which resulted in its approval for prescription. What can we do to maintain our health and prevent side-effects as much as we can while taking these powerful psychotropics? This book will go through common psychiatric medications and discuss how to do that for each one. Most medications deplete nutrients or hormones, along with causing a host of other complex, negative changes to our bodies. If we are aware of this, we can counteract those depletions and effects and maintain better health, prevent health complications, live longer, and feel better.
To continue reading and ensure joyful healing, check out:
The amount of sleep we need differs based, first, on age. Having the serenity life depends in large part on how well we sleep and how much sleep we get.The general recommendations according to The National Center for Biotechnology Information are:
18 years and older
This table does not include recommendations for newborns because their needs vary wildly, ranging anywhere from 11 hours to 19 hours per 24-hour period.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine put together a group of experts on sleep to come up with these suggestions. The group members looked at hundreds of high-quality studies about the link between how long you sleep and important health issues like heart disease, depression, pain, and diabetes. After looking at the facts, the group went through several rounds of voting and talking to narrow down the numbers for how much sleep different ages need. Other medical groups, like the Sleep Research Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and more, have agreed with the final suggestions.
It is essential to understand that these are general recommendations. You are an individual. As an individual, your needs may be different than others. Here are some things to consider that may have an impact on your individual needs. To figure out how much sleep you need, you must think about your overall health, the things you do every day, and how you usually sleep. Some things that can help you figure out how much sleep you need are:
Do you feel healthy, happy, and active after seven hours of sleep? Or, have you found that you need more sleep to really get going?
Do you have more than one health problem that might need you to rest more?
Do you use a lot of energy every single day? Do you play sports or have a job that requires a lot of physical work?
Do the things you do every day require you to be alert to do them safely? Do you drive a lot every day or use big equipment? Do any of these things ever make you feel sleepy?
Do you have trouble sleeping or have you had trouble sleeping in the past?
Does caffeine help you get through the day?
Do you tend to sleep in more when you have a lot of free time?
You can figure out how much sleep you need based on how you answer these questions.
The Serenity Life? Sleeping Too Much
While individual concerns are relevant, there is a limit. Most people know that getting too little sleep can hurt your health. Getting too little sleep on a regular basis is linked to several long-term diseases, as well as making you cranky and tired during the day. But did you know that sleeping too much can also be bad? Oversleeping is linked to several health issues, as well such as:
Type 2 diabetes
Does sleeping too much make you sick, or is it a sign of a problem you already have? Either way, you might want to see your doctor if you are always falling asleep or looking for the next nap. That doesn’t sound like the serenity life. If you need more than 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night to feel relaxed, this could be a sign of a deeper problem. Many things affect the quality of your sleep, making you feel tired and sluggish even after 8 hours in bed. Among these problems are:
Restless legs syndrome
Bruxism (teeth grinding)
Some prescription drugs
Then there are situations that don’t change the quality of your sleep much but make you need more sleep. Among them are:
Delayed sleep phase syndrome
These problems can be treated, which can help you sleep better. Many people think it’s a normal part of aging that they need more sleep, but getting older shouldn’t make a big difference in how much sleep you need. If you’ve checked out those problems and you’re still hitting the snooze button after 9 hours under the covers, it could be a sign that you have a heart problem, diabetes, or depression, and you should speak to a doctor. He or she might also suggest a sleep study to make sure there aren’t any sleep problems.
Sleeping Too Little
Simply not getting enough sleep is referred to as sleep deprivation, but there is a broader concept known as “sleep deficiency,” which encompasses sleep deprivation as well as other issues. Sleep deficiency can be caused by any of the following:
You don’t get enough sleep.
You sleep at the wrong time of day.
You don’t sleep well or get all the different kinds of sleep your body needs.
You have a sleep disorder that makes it hard for you to get enough sleep or makes the sleep you do get less restful.
People need to sleep just as much as they need to eat, drink, and breathe and is just as important to your health and happiness as these other things. About one-third of people in the United States don’t get enough rest or sleep every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 40% of people say they fall asleep during the day at least once a month when they didn’t mean to. Also, between 50 and 70 million Americans have sleep problems that don’t go away. Lack of sleep can cause problems with your physical and mental health, accidents, less work output, and even a higher chance of dying. Lack of sleep can make it hard to do well at your job, school, driving, and with other people. You might find it hard to learn, pay attention, and move. Also, it might be hard for you to understand how other people feel and act. Lack of sleep can also make you feel angry, irritable, or worried around other people.
Children and adults may have different signs of not getting enough sleep. When kids don’t get enough sleep, they might be overly active and have trouble paying attention. They might also misbehave, which can hurt how well they do in school. Adults, teens, and kids who don’t get enough sleep are also more likely to get hurt. For example, sleepiness while driving is a major cause of serious injuries and deaths in car accidents.
When it comes to older people, not getting enough sleep may make them more likely to fall and break a bone. People who don’t get enough sleep have also made mistakes that led to terrible accidents like nuclear plant meltdowns, big ships running aground, and plane crashes. People often believe that they can get by with less sleep and nothing bad will happen. But studies show that getting enough good sleep at the right times is important for mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
Chapter 2: The Science of Sleep
There are many things that help your body get ready to sleep and wake up. Your body has several internal clocks called circadian clocks. These typically follow a 24-hour repeating rhythm called the circadian rhythm. This rhythm affects every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. Your central circadian clock, located in your brain, tells you when it is time for sleep. Other circadian clocks are in organs throughout your body. Your body’s internal clocks are in sync with certain cues in the environment. Light, darkness, and other cues help determine when you feel awake and when you feel drowsy. Artificial light and caffeine can disrupt this process by giving your body false wakefulness cues. Your body clock may not be the same as other people’s.
The natural circadian cycle of most people is a little longer than 24 hours. Some people wake up early by nature, while others stay up late by nature. For example, it’s normal for many teenagers to want to go to bed later and wake up later. With age, the rhythm and timing of body clocks also change. Neurons, or cells, that help you sleep are lost as a normal part of getting older. Some diseases, like Alzheimer’s, can also speed up the death of neurons. This makes it harder for older people to sleep through the night.
Circadian rhythms can also be changed by things like less physical activity or less time spent outside. Because of this, most older people sleep less and wake up earlier. When you have been awake for a long time, your body’s biological need for sleep grows. This is controlled by homeostasis, the process by which your body keeps your systems, like your internal body temperature, stable. This need to sleep is linked to a chemical called adenosine. The amount of adenosine in your brain keeps going up as long as you are awake. The shift toward sleep is shown by the rising levels.
This process can be stopped by caffeine and other drugs that block adenosine. If you follow the natural pattern of days and nights, your eyes send signals to your brain that it is daytime. The part of your brain that gets these signals is called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. The sympathetic system and the parasympathetic system send these signals to the rest of your body. This helps your body’s main clock keep track of day and night. This process is messed up when people are exposed to artificial light.
The cycle of light and dark affects when your brain makes and releases melatonin. Your bloodstream carries melatonin to the cells in your body. Melatonin starts to build up in your bloodstream in the evening and reaches its highest level in the early morning. Melatonin is thought to help you fall asleep. When you’re exposed to more light, like when the sun comes up, your body makes a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol helps your body get ready to wake up on its own. If you are exposed to bright artificial light late at night, it can mess up this process and stop your brain from making melatonin. This can make it more difficult to go to sleep.
Bright artificial light comes from things like a TV screen, a smartphone, or an alarm clock with a very bright light. Some people use physical filters or software to block some of the blue light from these devices. Your central circadian clock is not always in sync with the time you go to sleep. Jet lag or night shifts can cause it to go out of sync.
When you sleep, you go back and forth between two stages: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. Every 80 to 100 minutes, the cycle starts again. Most nights, there are four to six cycles. Between cycles, you might wake up for a short time. Non-REM sleep has three stages: Stage 1: This is the transition between being awake and going to sleep. Stage 2: At this point, you are asleep. Stage 3. This stage of sleep is called deep sleep or slow-wave sleep. You usually spend more time in this stage earlier in the night.
REM sleep is when your eyes twitch and your brain is active. Brain activity during REM sleep is about the same as brain activity when you are awake. REM sleep is when most people dream. Most of the time, your muscles weaken, preventing you from acting out your dreams. You typically have more REM sleep later in the night, but you don’t get as much REM sleep in colder temperatures. This is because your body doesn’t regulate your temperature properly during REM sleep.
As people get older, their sleep habits and types change. For example, babies spend more time in REM sleep. The amount of slow-wave sleep is highest when a child is young and drops sharply when he or she is a teenager. Slow-wave sleep gets less and less as people get older, and some older people may not have any at all.
The way you feel while you are awake depends in part on what happens while you are sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Children and teens also grow and develop better when they get enough sleep. It can also affect how well you think, act, work, learn, and get along with others.
When you fall asleep and go into non-REM sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. During sleep, your body is controlled by your parasympathetic system, and your heart doesn’t have to work as hard as it does when you’re awake. Your sympathetic nervous system is turned on during REM sleep and when you wake up. This raises your heart rate and blood pressure to your usual levels when awake and calm. People who don’t get enough sleep or wake up often at night may be more likely to have:
Coronary artery disease
High blood pressure
At different times of the day, your body makes different hormones. This may be related to your sleep patterns or circadian clocks. Your body makes hormones, like cortisol, that make you more awake in the morning. Other hormones have 24-hour cycles that change as you age.
For example, in children, the hormones that tell the glands to release testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are made in pulses at night, and the pulses get bigger as puberty approaches. Different circadian clocks, such as those in the liver, fat, and muscle, affect how your body deals with fat. For example, these circadian clocks make sure that your liver is ready to help digest fat at the right times. If you eat at odd times, your body may handle fat in a different way. Studies have shown that not getting enough good sleep can lead to:
Higher levels of hunger-controlling hormones like leptin and ghrelin in your body.
Less ability to respond to insulin.
More eating, especially fatty, sweet, and salty foods.
Decreased physical activity
And all these things can contribute to being overweight or obese. During sleep, you take in less oxygen and breathe less often and less deeply. People with health problems like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may have trouble with these changes. Most of the time, asthma symptoms are worse in the early morning. People with lung diseases like COPD can also have trouble breathing that gets worse at night. Sleep also affects your immune system.
Different parts of your immune system are more active at different times of the day. For example, a certain type of immune cell works harder when you sleep. Because of this, people who don’t get enough sleep may get colds and other infections more often. Sleep helps with learning and the formation of long-term memories. If you don’t get enough sleep or high-quality sleep, it can be more difficult to concentrate on tasks and think clearly.
Chapter 3: Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene may be the most talked about subject when it comes to sleep. Your sleep hygiene can make a pivotal difference to your sleep. Here are some of the most common and most effective do’s and don’t of sleep hygiene. What to do:
Try to sleep around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, about five days a week. Exercise hard only in the morning or afternoon. Before bed, you can do more relaxing exercises, like yoga.
Get a lot of sunlight. Open your blinds as soon as you wake up and spend some time outside at some point. You can also use a light box first thing in the morning on dark winter days to help your brain wake up and keep your body’s rhythms in sync.
Set up a regular, relaxing routine for going to bed.
Take a warm shower or bath before you go to sleep.
Do relaxation exercises like mindful breathing and progressive muscle relaxation before you go to sleep.
Make sure the place where you sleep is nice and calm. Your room shouldn’t be too hot, too cold, or too bright, and your bed should be comfortable. Use earplugs and an eye mask if you feel the need. Make sure your pillow feels good.
Reserve your bed for sleep and sex. Don’t eat, watch TV, or work in bed.
Go to bed when you’re tired and get out of bed if you can’t sleep.
Don’t have a clock within sight.
Turn off your phone’s alerts for texts and emails.
Write down your worries in a “worry journal.” If you can’t sleep because you’re thinking about something, write it down so you can think about it again the next day.
If you can’t fall asleep after about 20 minutes, get out of bed, and do something relaxing, like reading. When you’re ready to sleep again, go back to bed.
If you want to use your computer late at night, you can get free software for your computer that lets you dim the screen. f.lux and Dimmer are two well-known programs. Even better, turn off the computer an hour before bed.
What to avoid:
Don’t ingest caffeine after noon. This includes soda, coffee, tea, iced tea, and energy drinks.
Don’t drink too much alcohol at night. Alcohol is known to make it easier to fall asleep, but it also makes it harder to stay asleep. This is especially true in the second half of the night, when the body should be going into deep sleep.
Don’t take other stimulants like chocolate, nicotine, or some medicines close to bedtime.
Don’t eat a big meal right before bed.
Before bed, don’t watch TV, use the computer, or spend a long time on your phone. These things make your brain work, which makes it harder to fall asleep.
Don’t use your phone, laptop, or any other mobile device in bed.
Don’t give in to the urge to take a nap in the middle of the day. It can throw off your normal sleep-wake cycle.
It’s essential to note, once again, that you are an individual. You don’t necessarily need to follow everything on this list. Some people watch television before bed, and it helps them relax and improves their mood, thus improving their sleep. These recommendations are based on technicalities. Technically, the exposure to the light of the television and the stimulation of what’s on screen should have a negative impact on sleep, but if the benefits for you outweigh this minor impact, then sleep can be improved.
This applies to almost everything on the list. These should be thought of more as suggestions. Give them a chance and see if they work for you. If something doesn’t help or seems to make it worse, stop that. As an extreme example, if drinking a cup of coffee right before bed somehow, paradoxically, helped you sleep, then the fact that nearly everyone on the planet would recommend otherwise is not relevant. Do what works for you. The preceding list is simply a list of methods that have been tested for decades and have been found to work for countless people. They may work for you. They may not.
Echinacea, fish oil, vitamin D, and multivitamins are just a few of the numerous nutritional supplements that may be found in stores or online from the natural pharmacy and provide healing moments. Maybe you currently use supplements or are considering doing so. Although dietary supplements may be good for your health, there are also potential hazards. Therefore, it’s crucial that you see a health care provider before deciding if a supplement is appropriate for you. Continue reading to find out what dietary supplements are (and aren’t), how the US Food and Drug Administration regulates them, and how to ensure that you and your family utilize them safely to maximize healing moments.
Natural Pharmacy?What Do Nutritional Supplements Do?
Different from regular food, dietary supplements are meant to enhance or complement the diet. Even though a product is marketed as a dietary supplement, it is still considered a medicine to the degree that it is meant to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent illnesses. Tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, powders, bars, gummies, and liquid supplements are just a few of the many different forms that supplements may take. typical supplements consist of: vitamins (including multivitamins and specific vitamins like biotin and vitamin D). minerals (including iron, calcium, and magnesium). herbs or botanicals (like echinacea and ginger). botanical substances (like curcumin and caffeine). amino acids (such as glutamine and tryptophan). live microorganisms (sometimes known as “probiotics”).
What Advantages Do Dietary Supplements Offer? Healing Moments!
You may maintain or enhance your overall health with dietary supplements, and they can also help you get the critical nutrients you need each day. Calcium and vitamin D, for instance, may aid in the development of strong bones, while fiber helps support intestinal regularity. While the advantages of certain supplements are widely known, further research is required for other supplements. Additionally, bear in mind that a balanced diet should include a range of foods and that supplements shouldn’t be used in lieu of those items.
What Are the Risks of Supplemental Dietary?
Before purchasing or ingesting a nutritional supplement, discuss the advantages and disadvantages with a health care provider, such as your doctor, nurse, certified dietician, or pharmacist. There are several substances in supplements that have potent physiological effects. Some supplements may also combine dangerously with other drugs, mess up lab testing, or have negative consequences during surgery. Your doctor may advise you on whether a particular supplement is best for you. Be aware of the potential for a negative response or side effect (also known as an adverse event) while using dietary supplements. Problems may arise, particularly if you: Add supplements together. Combine vitamins and medications. ingest some nutrients in excess. Use vitamins rather than prescription drugs. If a dietary supplement causes an unpleasant reaction, stop taking it right away, seek medical attention or guidance, and report the reaction to the FDA.
How Are Supplements to Diet Regulated?
The Code The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, often known as DSHEA, modified the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) in 1994 by defining “dietary supplement” and establishing the FDA’s jurisdiction over such items. existing legislation: Before dietary supplements are made available to the general public, the FDA DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO APPROVE THEIR SAFETY AND EFFICACY OR TO APPROVATE THEIR LABELING.
According to the FD&C Act, it is the duty of dietary supplement manufacturers to make sure their goods comply with all legal requirements and safety requirements. Dietary supplement labels must provide nutrition information in the form of a Supplement Facts label, which contains the serving size, the number of servings per container, a list of all dietary components included in the product, and the quantity of each ingredient per serving.
Additionally, the product must be labeled as a “dietary supplement” or some comparable phrase (such as “herbal supplement” or “calcium supplement”) on the front. In general, a product that is meant to treat, prevent, cure, or lessen the symptoms of a disease is still considered a medication and must comply with all regulations pertaining to pharmaceuticals, even if it is labeled as a dietary supplement.
The FDA’s Function and Activities to Keep You Safe Despite not approving them, the FDA does have a responsibility in regulating dietary supplements. The FDA’s involvement in regulating supplements generally starts after the product hits the market since businesses often launch dietary supplements without informing the agency.
The FDA conducts routine inspections of dietary supplement production facilities to make sure businesses are adhering to relevant manufacturing and labeling standards. In order to make sure that items are adequately labeled and that they don’t include any claims that may turn them into medications (such as those that promise to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent illnesses), the FDA also checks product labels and other labeling information, including websites.
The FDA keeps an eye on adverse event reports received by manufacturers of dietary supplements, doctors, and customers as well as other product complaints to gather important data on the security of goods after they are on the market.
The FDA can: If a product is deemed dangerous or doesn’t otherwise adhere to the law Cooperate with the business to make the product compliant. Request a product recall from the firm. Removing a hazardous product off the market requires action.
Advice for Savvy and Knowledgeable Consumers
Consult your healthcare provider prior to using a dietary supplement. They may assist you in determining if you should take any supplements at all. For further details about the product, you can also get in touch with the producer. Only use as directed on the label. When used in large quantities, continuously, or in conjunction with certain medications or meals, several components and products may be dangerous. Avoid using dietary supplements as a replacement for over-the-counter medications or for the range of foods that make up a balanced diet. The use of the word “natural” to describe a product does not automatically imply that it is secure. Watch out for hype. A body of research, not a single study, often informs good health recommendations. Learn to recognize bogus claims. Anything that seems too wonderful to be true usually is.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Prayer: While depression can make you feel lonely, God is still there with me. And he’s not going anywhere.
2: PHILIPPIANS 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Prayer: Although there may be difficult or dark times, taking time to be grateful and reflect on things that are good can lift my spirits. 3: PHILIPPIANS 4:13
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Prayer: Depression can zap your energy and make it feel almost impossible to accomplish even simple tasks. But this verse reminds me that Christ is always there for me. Through Him, I can find the will to get through even the darkest times.
4: JOHN 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Prayer: Jesus knows that we will experience difficult times. These comforting words can be a source of strength as we reflect on His love for all of us. Through faith, we can overcome the obstacles in our lives.
5: JEREMIAH 29:11
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Prayer: There are better times ahead. God has a plan for me, even if my current circumstances are proving difficult.
6: MATTHEW 11:28
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Prayer: Feelings of depression can be a heavy burden, and many people make the mistake of thinking it’s a burden they must carry alone. This verse serves as a reminder that Jesus is there to lift my burdens and provide relief.
7: PROVERBS 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Prayer: When you’re struggling with depression, it can be difficult to understand why you’re feeling certain emotions. This verse reminds you that the way forward is by trusting the Lord to provide guidance. Things will look up.
8: 1 PETER 5:7
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Prayer: Depression and anxiety can be isolating experiences. But Jesus is there, and He cares about me. I can turn to Him for help with whatever I may be feeling.
9: PSALM 23:4
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Prayer: This verse serves as a reminder of God’s love for us. Even in dark times when you’re confronting difficult situations, He is walking alongside you and guiding you on a righteous path forward.
10: PSALM 9:9
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
Prayer: Depression can make you feel as though you’re weighed down. But no matter how troubled I feel, this verse reminds me that the Lord is always there to support me.
11: MATTHEW 6:33
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Prayer: I know that if I place God first in my life life and focus on Him, He can help me find what I need to overcome all obstacles.
12: JOSHUA 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, and do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Prayer: Through previous struggles in my life, God has always been there. Even if I’m struggling with depression and other mental health concerns, God will continue to be by my side.
13: PSALM 40: 1-2
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Prayer: God, it truly can feel like I’m in a pit sometimes. Through faith in You, I can find stability once again.
14: ISAIAH 41:10
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Prayer: Dealing with depression can be scary. But this verse reminds me that with God on my side, there’s nothing to fear. I will find the strength I need to weather the storm by placing my trust in Him.
15: PSALM 34:18
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Prayer: Even when I’m in low spirits, I know that God still loves me.
For the rest of the prayers and verses from Trinity Therapeutic’s Christian Books, “God’s Solution” check out: