Thursday, 21 September 2017

Stop sleeping, you'll feel better?!

Imagine yourself in a depressive state. Most of us can do it because most of us have had that experience at least once. What can you do to feel better?
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine suggest that not sleeping could help. I know, this is completely counter-intuitive. However, there is some logic behind it.
Here is my two cents on how this could actually work.
The main actor of this story is serotonin. Serotonin is a small molecule inhabiting your brain and making you feel happy. But this isn't the only thing serotonin does. Serotonin permits you to sleep. Indeed, in the late evening, with or without a full moon, some serotonin transform itself into melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy. Once asleep, other serotonin transform itself in other ways to keep you asleep. As a result, when you are asleep, your serotonin level is lower, while when you are awake, it is higher.
Now what will happen if you decide not to seep anymore? The serotonin inhabiting your brain will not be used up to put you to sleep and to keep you asleep. As a result, the amount of serotonin in your brain will not decrease at night. Also, during your next meal, you will eat proteins, and a small guy in these proteins, a certain L-tryptophan, will enter your brain and transform into ... serotonin! Thereby, more and more serotonin can build up in your brain, until a normal amount is reached and you do not feel depressed anymore.
You will not feel depressed anymore...but you will be sleep deprived. Seriously, I would not recommend that therapy to my worst enemy. Are they other ways to increase your serotonin level? Yes, there is an easy one. Take L-tryptophan supplements on an empty stomach. You can buy it in your pharmacy or your bio-shop.