All about Serotonin & Endorphins
If you’ve ever finished a workout and have gotten that “high” afterward, you’ve experienced a rush of endorphins. It feels great, doesn’t it?
Serotonin and endorphins are neurotransmitters, the “feel-good” chemicals our bodies produce to promote an overall sense of well-being. They provide a lot of benefits, including regulating your mood, appetite, sleep cycle, and motivation.
Have you ever felt as if you can’t drag yourself out of bed in the morning? That feeling of sluggishness is due, in part, to a lack of serotonin in your body.
Endorphins are the body’s response to physical exertion and pain. This chemical blocks pain and increases pleasure. This is what creates “runner’s high” after an intense workout.
Serotonin is responsible for regulating your mood. Have you ever turned your face toward the sun on a cold winter day and felt immediately relaxed? That is the release of serotonin!
What Happens If I Don’t Have Enough Serotonin or Endorphins?
A lack of either one, or both, of these neurotransmitters can cause a whole host of unpleasant side effects. Some of these include:
- Loss of motivation
- Weight gain
- Physical aches & pains
- Gastrointestinal issues
What Causes a Lack of Serotonin or Endorphins?
One of the biggest causes for lack of these crucial neurotransmitters is the weather. Strange, right?
Serotonin and endorphin production in the brain are stimulated by natural sunlight. When your body doesn’t get enough sunlight, such as during the cold winter months or if you spend all day working at a desk, your brain doesn’t produce enough of these neurotransmitters.
And if your brain is low on endorphins and serotonin, you find that you can’t sleep, have difficulty staying awake and focused during the day, and your mood swings more drastically.
How Can I Fix a Lack of Serotonin & Endorphins?
There are a couple ways to encourage production of endorphins and serotonin in your body.
First, make sure that you lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet, get plenty of exercise, and drink enough water. This helps keep your body in peak condition and helps your brain do its job better.
If you find that your symptoms of a lack of serotonin and endorphins are worse during the colder, darker months, or if you suffer from depression, bright light therapy can help stimulate production of these neurotransmitters when the sun just isn’t cutting it.
Getting a bright light therapy box – 10,000 Lux or brighter – and sitting in front of it for at least 30 minutes shortly after waking each morning can help improve your brain’s production of serotonin and endorphins. Within a few weeks of starting bright light therapy, you should see a reduction in the negative symptoms and an improvement in your sleep, energy levels, and mood.
As always, consult with your doctor to be sure you don’t have a health condition that may be negatively impacted by bright light therapy.
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At the SunBox Company, we want to help you live the healthiest, happiest life you can all year long. We provide high-quality bright light therapy boxes to improve mood, fix your sleep patterns, and pull you out of that seasonal slump. Check out our online catalog!