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Problems Sleeping? Oxytocin Could Help You Sleep Better

June 13, 2013 Oxytocin and Sleep Comments Off

Can't sleep? Oxytocin can help.It’s a common problem. You feel tired, so you go to bed. However, once you get into bed, you find yourself lying awake for hours on end unable to get yourself off to sleep. Forget counting sheep; there may be a better, more effective solution to sleep problems.

Oxytocin influences sleep processes 

Although there haven’t been any direct studies linking oxytocin to curing insomnia, scientists do know that oxytocin influences sleep processes, and there is plenty of evidence to back this theory up. A recent study by Blagrove et al, 2011, [1] found that oxytocin levels peak at around five hours after the start of sleep, typically during the REM stages of sleep. The study found that oxytocin levels are correlated with stages of light Stage Two sleep.

Solution for disorders that impact on a person’s sleep

Higher levels of oxytocin in the body have therefore been suggested to lead to a better effectiveness at getting to sleep and staying asleep. Many studies have found that oxytocin can be an effective treatment for disorders that affect sleep, such as depression and social anxiety (MacDonald et al, 2011) [2]. As a result of these findings, it is suggested that oxytocin administration (in the form of an intranasal spray) may also be an effective treatment for direct sleep disorders such as insomnia and dream disorders.

Calming for nightmares

Oxytocin is regularly associated with encouraging emotional bonds between both mothers and their children, and between partners. Research has demonstrated that the hormone connects social relationships in waking life.

The way oxytocin affects people’s sleep is said to be similar to the way it affects their relationships; current evidence from many scientific studies has concluded that oxytocin attenuates amygdalar hyper-responsivity to negatively valences emotional stimuli (Kirsch et al. 2005) [3]. This finding would suggest that, due to the fact that nightmares are linked to abnormal amygdalar activity, taking a dose of oxytocin nasal spray may help the person to sleep and may alleviate the severity of nightmares. It is a theory that Dr. Tammy Tucker, a family physician based in Bentonville, Northwest Arkansas, agrees with whole-heartedly. In her program and book, which promotes general health and wellbeing, she firmly states that oxytocin levels are closely linked to sleep – as well as several other health issues – and that a way of improving sleep quality is by taking a dose of oxytocin nasal spray or drops.

Improves sleep quality and amount

All of this promising research suggests that oxytocin modulates social emotions in dreams. This exciting prospect will no doubt lead to further research, hopefully leading to clues as to how the brain generates dreams and dream content. This would enable us to interpret our dreams more clearly; it could suggest that a person’s dreams are an extension of his or her social cognition.

But what does this mean for those people that are suffering from the crippling effects of insomnia? In short, it means that oxytocin could be found to significantly modulate sleep and sleeping patterns. If this is the case, it could be possible to manipulate a person’s oxytocin levels in order to improve their sleeping ability and quality.

Simple to procure, simple to administer

The simple, self administration capabilities of oxytocin in the form of a nasal spray or sublingual drops, add to its appeal as a treatment for insomnia and other disorders that interfere with our sleep patterns.

Oxytocin Factor is a non-prescription supplemental oxytocin in either a sublingual liquid, which is dripped underneath the tongue, or a nasal spray for quick and convenient application. Online reports and testimonials are proving highly positive in favor of its benefits in relieving stress and anxiety.

For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central info@oxytocincentral.com or call (405) 476-1983

***

[1] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dream-catcher/201108/oxytocin-sleep-and-dreams

[2] http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/02/20/treating-depression-with-the-oxytocin-the-love-hormone/35027.html

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16339042

 

 

 

Oxytocin and Addictions (drugs, smoking)

March 17, 2013 Oxytocin and Addiction Comments Off

Our nervous system and our endocrine system are both hugely influential over our lives. The way we think, talk, act, remember, believe and function within a social society are all heavily influenced by the secretion of hormones from glands in the brain and body, which have been designed and refined over the course of human evolution to kick in when we need them, and deliver the beneficial effects that we all know so well.

Oxytocin and Drug Addiction

Chemical use and addiction is intimately involved with hormone production, and neurotransmitter function within the brain. Take cocaine for instance. This substance blocks neurons from re-taking the hormones dopamine, serotonin and epinephrine that it releases across a synapse. This leads to excess hormones in the synaptic gap, causing elevated bodily responses from the elevated hormone levels, such as increased energy and confidence.

Oxytocin is a hormone similar to the ones Can Oxytocin Help with Nicotine and Drug Addictions?mentioned here, and so it makes sense to assume that oxytocin could certainly have effects on those suffering from drug addictions. This has been an area in need of research for a long time, but oxytocin has been shown to inhibit certain drug functions (Kovacs et al., 1998), while being at least partly responsible for the action of drugs like MDMA. These effects are not as important as the positive effects that oxytocin could have at the larger social and emotional scale of drug dependence however, in a field which is lacking just as much research. A link between oxytocin and dopamine is suggesting that control could be placed on addiction, and especially the social forces that preclude addictive behavior, by use of oxytocin.

… Continue Reading

Need Help with Drug Addiction?

November 16, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off

The Coalition Against Drug Abuse website has lots of great information about alcohol and drug addiction.

“If you think that someone you love is addicted to drugs, it’s important that you handle the situation carefully. It’s common to be afraid to approach you loved one about drug use, because you don’t know how he or she will react. However, the important thing is finding the substance abuse help he or she needs.”

How to Help a Drug Addict

Oxytocin Helps Slow Aging Process

September 26, 2012 Oxytocin and Aging Comments Off
It's never too soon to slow the effects of aging.

It's never too soon to slow the effects of aging.

Oxytocin and anti-aging 

We all know what the doctor recommends for a longer and healthier life. Keeping fit and eating well are two of the best things you can do to promote a long fruitful life. But there are many other things that should be considered when it comes to aging, both internally and externally, including reducing
stress and anxiety
in your life.

Your body will age at a natural rate, but often the process of aging can be accelerated. Living a physically unhealthy life in general causes premature aging, but many other environmental factors can cause just as many problems. Your brain is powerful, and if it is not in a healthy state, due to too much stress for instance, then the aging process can be accelerated significantly.

How Can Oxytocin Help Slow the Aging Process?

… Continue Reading

60 Seconds with Dr. Tammy: Intimacy Q&A

March 27, 2012 Oxytocin and Sex Comments Off

Dr. Tammy Tucker, Board-certified family physician and author of the book and the program Project Fabulous, has been practicing Osteopathic Medicine for over 10 years, and specializes in holistic health methods. This means that she takes a “whole person” approach to medicine.

60-second Q&A with Dr. Tammy about oxytocin and sex:

Q) How does oxytocin affect our sex lives?

A) Oxytocin increases sexual receptivity, counteracts impotence, and it helps us connect to our partners more deeply on an emotional level, while enhancing physical pleasure.

Q) How often would one need to take oxytocin to improve sex in older adults?

A) Oxytocin is released when affection takes place. Often older adults do not engage in affection due to underlying feelings of inadequacy with their aging appearance and lack of intimacy as aging partners’ health declines leading to the inability to perform sexually for many reasons. There are many factors, both physical and emotional, that must be considered in keeping oxytocin levels balanced in elderly adults. There is a clear understanding that all hormone levels must be in balance to achieve optimal sexual peak performance. It may be necessary for the elderly to supplement more frequently due to the multiple factors that lead to decline in these levels and therefore affect the overall balance.

Q) Will it help an individual’s partner if the individual took oxytocin?
A) The only person we can change or control is ourselves. Feeling love and trust towards another through adequate levels of oxytocin can drastically change the dynamics of a relationship. If both partners are balanced with their oxytocin levels this effect is magnified. It makes sense that if the other partner feels love and trust and openness to bond that everyone in the relationship wins.
Want to learn more about how oxytocin can help your sex life? Watch a YouTube Video, “How Oxytocin Can Help You: Dr. Tammy Talks About Stress, Intimacy, and Health

 

For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central info@oxytocincentral.com or call (405) 476-1983

Oxytocin and Sex for Seniors

March 22, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off

One of the, almost, universal truths is that as you get older your body begins to turn down some of the primal drives that you have – in particular the relationships between older couples can seem devoid of the physical aspects of being in love. Forget the ‘flowers and hearts’ stuff, but there is a fundamental truth and a link between the lengths of time you have been together and the numbers of small, seeming significant, quarrels over almost nothing.

There are numerous scholarly articles related to experiments and testing on prairie voles, sheep and rats that demonstrate the levels of potency increase with the production (or in these cases the introduction) of a naturally occurring hormone called oxytocin. First ‘discovered’ in 1909 by Henry Dale (later to be ‘Sir’ and a Nobel Prize winner), oxytocin is named after a Greek phrase which, when translated, means ‘speedy birth’. What he found was that this hormone, produced in the pituitary gland does many things – amongst which are controlling the contraction of the uterus during birth and the production of human milk during the nursing period! It seems that oxytocin is a wonder drug – so why haven’t we heard so much about it? And if it was thought, primarily, to be about childbirth, what on Earth has it got to do with us seniors?

Well, ‘seniors’ have feelings too and that is what oxytocin controls. There is a wonderful warmth and feeling of ‘togetherness’ in simply having a cuddle or holding hands and that warmth is, in a way, a byproduct of the little gland, the size of a pea, that we know as the pituitary.

I talked earlier about the ‘quarrels’ between people who have been together for a long-time and much of that is down to stress and distance in a relationship – it isn’t that people move apart, more that they don’t find it easy to show emotion or come closer together. So if there was a way…and there is. By simply having a cuddle, you feel closer to the person you are cuddling physically and emotionally. And science has found a mechanism for helping people overcome that irrational fear of disagreements and feeling alone – it’s a treatment that goes under the ungainly title of ‘oxytocin factor sublingual drops or the nasal spray’ – enough to put you off, but don’t let it. … Continue Reading

Oxytocin (Part 5/5)

July 7, 2011 Featured Comments Off

It is my goal in therapy to help patients love and have the capacity to receive love; all else is secondary. Love makes us strong for our progeny. We need sex to enhance love, have progeny, and vice versa. It is the natural outgrowth of love. What we too often confuse is love and need. Those who never had their needs fulfilled early in life will keep on looking for fulfillment, believing it is love when too often it is only sexual. So long as someone is needy, he or she will confuse that need with love.
… Continue Reading

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