Though many believe good sleep is a matter of luck or circumstance, it all boils down to a science. Think of the happiest person you know – how often are they refreshed and well-rested? If the answer is “very often,” it’s probably because their genuine happiness releases brain chemicals needed for consistent, restful sleep.
Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin may sound familiar to you. If not, they are three of the primary brain chemicals that affect our mood and how we sleep.
- Dopamine – Dopamine is a crucial part of our well-being. It helps us control our movements, emotional responses, and mood.
- Serotonin – Serotonin acts as the mood stabilizer chemical. It affects HOW we process emotions.
- Oxytocin – Oxytocin is known as the love drug. It is involved in childbirth, breastfeeding, and cuddling.
Without each of these brain chemicals functioning as they should, achieving great sleep can be more difficult.
As they relate to mental health, dopamine and serotonin help us regulate our emotions and improve our overall mood.
For example, suppose you have low dopamine levels. In that case, you may experience a lack of motivation to move, and the desire to exercise as a means to sleep better seems wildly unappealing. And, without substantial serotonin levels, you may be unable to process emotions in healthy ways conducive to relieving anxiety before bed.
How To Increase The Levels of Your Feel-Good Chemicals
Luckily, there are natural ways of increasing your dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin levels to make sleep easier. At Equip Sleeping Co., I’ve spent much of my time learning about the connections between feel-good chemicals and rest, and it has helped not only my clients but also myself.
To increase serotonin and dopamine, try a few of the following tips that I have found helpful:
- Exercise often, even when you feel unmotivated.
- Take a probiotic to maintain gut health.
- Eat healthier. When you eat better, you feel better, making you less likely to have an upset stomach affect your mood.
- Listen to music or podcasts that make you feel relaxed and happy.
- Meditate to clear your mind and balance your emotions.
- Get a healthy amount of sunlight. If we’ve learned anything from seasonal depression, it’s that a bit of sunshine on our skin can make us instantly feel better.
Oxytocin levels increase during close contact, like cuddling. That’s why when you hug someone you love, snuggle with your partner or child, or hold a stuffed animal at night, a sense of calm washes over you.
For those who need an alternative, try the product I created to aid in achieving restful sleep: Cozy Case™ is the world’s first therapeutic pillowcase that is specifically designed to assist with increasing levels of the feel-good chemicals.
As a licensed therapist, I have knowledge of all the coping skills in the world at my disposal, yet even I have had my own struggles with anxiety and sleep. After years of struggling to fall asleep only to wake up searching for comfort, I decided it was time for adults to have a functional, aesthetically pleasing bedtime product. This unique pillowcase can be held and hugged to promote increased feelings of security and relaxation. It has worked wonders for me over the last several months, and now, it’s being developed for others to use as well.
Currently, in the pre-launch Kickstarter phase, Cozy Case™ will soon be available to support individuals in creating the ideal conditions for falling asleep and staying asleep. To stay updated on our progress or learn how you can contribute to making this product a reality, click here or visit Equip Sleeping Co.’s Instagram page.