Possible factors for sleep and mood disorders

Sleep disorders are often linked to several other health problems and can affect a third to half of Europeans. Related health issues include gastrointestinal disorders, hormonal/thyroid imbalances, and mood imbalances, such as depression or ADHD.

Hormonal disruptions and having an underactive thyroid gland slow down metabolic processes in the body and can lead to disruptions in the sleep cycle. Neurotransmitter imbalances may also play a role in sleep cycle disruptions due to inefficiencies in excitatory and/or inhibitory neurotransmitter systems.

Depression and mood symptoms can be caused by several factors, including stress, hormonal imbalances, and neurotransmitter imbalances. Serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine and GABA are neurotransmitters thought to be involved in the development of symptoms of depression and mood disorders.

Normal serotonergic activity appears to be important for maintaining feelings of well-being, and serotonin deficiencies may be linked to the development of anxiety disorders. Noradrenaline is a close cousin of epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. The “fight or flight” response to stress is associated with elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol, and the stress-related feeling of being in a state of fear. Low thyroid symptoms mimic depression; including fatigue, irritability and sudden weight loss. Low levels of vitamin D are also strongly correlated with symptoms of depression.

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