Interactions Between Hormones And Behavior

Interactions Between Serotonin And Sleep Apnea

Rough definition of serotonin

The neurotransmitter serotonin (Enteramin or 5 HTP) is mostly present in the blood, gastrointestinal tract or central nervous system. Primarily it is known to impact the feeling of well being. Thus it is often named the "happiness hormone". 95% of the serotonin in the body is in the gastrointestinal tract. 90% helps the regulation of the intestinal movements in enterochromaffin cells where it is produced. The largest part of the remaining serotonin in the body is in the blood and in the central nervous system. Besides the regulation of intestinal movements it primarily regulates the tone of the blood vessels and signal transmission in the central nervous system.

How sleep apnea is influenced by serotonin.

Serotonin mainly impacts the nervous system, the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system.

1. How serotonin affects the cardiovascular system

Serotonin regulates the contraction and relaxation of blood vessels. For the kidney and lung the more important part is the contraction, while in the blood vessels themselves the relaxation plays the bigger role. It's a given that a malfunction in the cardiovascular system can cause disruptions that lead to sleep apnea. A change in serotonin levels in the blood has a direct affect on sleep apnea.

2. How the central nervous system is influenced

a. The feeling of well-being and mood changes

The best known effect of serotonin on the body is it's influence on moods through the central nervous system. At a serotonin level in the brain, that is too high, hallucinations and restlessness can be caused. Meanwhile depressions are often traced to low levels. Often bad aggressive temper and anxiety is also related to low serotonin levels.

IMPORTANT: An increased intake of serotonin rich food like chocolate or banana does not affect the serotonin level in the brain. The uplifting effect is due to the high level of carbohydrates that lead to an increase in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain.

b. Sleep-Wake Cycle

Since the 1950's it is known, that serotonin has a regulating effect on the sleep-wake cycle. However, the studies concerning the mechanisms of this regulatory effect have long been contradictory. Current studies show, that the wake periods are influenced by the activity of the serotonin containing neurons in the hypothalamus. The neurons are less active during sleep and almost inactive during the REM phase. Any change in the serotonin level will likely cause disruptions in the sleep-wake cycle and likely have an affect on the exposure to sleep apnea.

c. Breathing

The nerves that control breathing need a certain amount of serotonin in order to do communicate with the brain. An improperly-working serotonin system deprives the body of an adequate supply of the neurotransmitter, often resulting in sleep apnea. Also, serotonin receptors control the release of hormones such as cortisol. One role of cortisol is to help control the muscles needed for breathing.

Cases of sleep apnea that are based on a low serotonin level can be successfully treated with 5-HTP as part of the patient's medication (Dr. Murray in "5 HTP - The Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia").

It is recommended to take between 100 and 300 mg of 5-HTP before sleep. After taking 5-HTP sleep apnea patients sleep more soundly and awaken less, so Dr. Murray reports.

On one hand this is great news, but it should be very clear, that the intake of 5-HTP can not cure sleep apnea alone. It will always have to be combined with a set of other treatments that target obesity, breathing habits, lifestyle (alcohol/nicotine/narcotics) and so on. Consult your Doctor about the use of 5-HTP and other medication as well as interactions of the medicine you use.

About the author: I put in a lot of effort in my research on what causes sleep apnea and how to cure it. Find free information and advice on how to cure sleep apnea on my website.


Frequently Asked Questions

    Explain the interaction between hormones and behavior and how it affects the determination of gender identity?
    Explain the interaction between hormones and behavior and how this interaction affects the determination of gender identity. Evaluate biological psychology and environmental influences on sexual differentiation and gender identity.

    • ANSWER:
      Hormones only change your appearance not your behavior. Don't let people use that as an excuse to misbehave. Your soul is what does the thinking. Also, how you control your memories controls your behavior.

    Psychology 140 Help Please?
    1) in a documentary on TV, you hear of juvenile delinquents who have a hard time managing their anger. A psychologist has taught these troubled youths to think of how other people would feel when they lose their temper. This application of pstcology illustrates which goal?
    a)to explain behavior
    b) to predict behavior
    c) to control behavior
    d) to influence behavior

    2) prodigies demostrate the interaction between?
    a) developmental psycology and music
    b) biology and science
    c) art and social science
    d) genetic and learned influences

    3) Rachel is always having arguments with her parents over seemily trivial matters. Her parents view her as moody and quick to losse he composure. Rachel's moodiness is a result of?
    a) sex hormones
    b) peer pressure
    c) her parent's permissiveness
    d) the stresses of school

    4) the two variables that males and females place different weights on in the perfect partner schema are:
    a) intelligence and height
    b) education level and physical attrativeness
    c) physical attractiveness and good earning capacity
    d) social skill and good earning capacity

    1) the cognitive developmental theory suggests the gender schemas are used in shaping gender roles

    2) genetics account for about 50% of aggresive behavior

    3) most abused children are abused by people who know them

    4) in succesfull marriages, husbands learn how to be more accepting of their wives criticism

    5)the rate of sucicide among the elderly is decresing

    Thanks for any help you have

    • ANSWER:
      1. b 2. d 3. a 4. c 1. True 2. False 3. False 4. True 5. false

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    Help me, please! (biology)..?
    1. Many homeowners who used to collect, bag, and discard grass clippings are now using mulching
    lawnmowers, which cut up the clippings into very fine pieces and deposit them on the soil.
    The use of mulching lawnmowers contributes most directly to
    (1) increasing the diversity of life
    (2) recycling of nutrients
    (3) the control of pathogens
    (4) the production of new species

    2. Which row in the chart below contains an event that is paired with an appropriate response in the human body?
    (1) Event: a virus enters the bloodstream. Response: increased production of antibodies
    (2) Event: fertilization of an egg. Response: increased levels of testosterone
    (3) Event: dehydration due to increased sweating. Response: increased urine output
    (4) Event: a drop in the rate of digestion. Response: increased respiration rate

    3. In several species of birds, the males show off their bright colors and long feathers. The dullcolored females usually pick the brightest colored males for mates. Male offspring inherit their father’s bright colors and long feathers. Compared to earlier generations, future generations of these birds will be expected to have a greater proportion of
    (1) bright-colored females
    (2) dull-colored females
    (3) dull-colored males
    (4) bright-colored males

    4. The females of certain species of turtles will sneak into a nest of alligator eggs to lay their own eggs and then leave, never to return. When the baby turtles hatch, they automatically hide from the mother alligator guarding the nest and go to the nearest body of water when it is safe to do so. Which statement best explains the behavior of these baby turtles?
    (1) More of the turtles’ ancestors who acted in this way survived to reproduce, passing this behavioral trait to their offspring.
    (2) The baby turtles are genetically identical, so they behave the same way.
    (3) Turtles are not capable of evolving, so they repeat the same behaviors generation after generation.
    (4) The baby turtles’ ancestors who learned to behave this way taught the behaviors to their offspring.

    5. What would most likely occur if the interaction is blocked between the pituitary and gland C, the site of meiosis in males?
    (1) The level of progesterone would start to increase.
    (2) The pituitary would produce another hormone to replace hormone 3.
    (3) Gland A would begin to interact with hormone 3 to maintain homeostasis.
    (4) The level of testosterone may start to decrease.

    6. Why does hormone 1 influence the action of gland A but not gland B or C?
    (1) Every activity in gland A is different from the activities in glands B and C.
    (2) The cells of glands B and C contain different receptors than the cells of gland A.
    (3) Each gland contains cells that have different base sequences in their DNA.
    (4) The distance a chemical can travel is influenced by both pH and temperature.

    thank you:D

    • ANSWER:
      (I just did the exact same questions yesterday and today...weird.)

      1. 2
      2. 1
      3. 4
      4. 1
      5. 4
      6. 2