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Possible Factors for Sleep & Mood Disturbances

Sleep disorders are often related to several other health issues and may affect one third to one half of Americans. Related health issues include gastrointestinal disorders, hormonal/thyroid imbalances and mood imbalances, like depression or ADHD.

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

Depression and mood symptoms can be caused by several things including stress, hormonal imbalances, and neurotransmitter imbalances. Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Epinephrine and GABA are neurotransmitters thought to be involved in the development of depression symptoms and mood disorders.

Normal serotonin activity appears to be important in maintaining feelings of well-being, and deficiencies in serotonin may be related to the development of anxiety disorders. Norepinephrine is a close cousin to epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. The "fight or flight" reaction to stress is associated with elevated adrenaline and cortisol levels, and the stress-related sense of being in a state of fear. Low thyroid symptoms mimic depression; including fatigue, irritability and sudden weight loss. Low vitamin D levels correlate highly with symptoms of depression as well.

Ways to measure these neurotransmitters

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