sleep ? serotonin link?

i'm scratching my head at the moment, wondering how to get better sleep, i'm waking up and finding it difficult to find the off switch. i'm trying to do some reading and see if the fluoxetine might be keeping me awake, as it releases serotonin . But the answer does not seem so simple, low serotonin can also cause insomnia .... so no simple answer there.

Maybe i'm just looking for an excuse to cut down on the meds, i made the mistake in the spring of taking a little less fluoxetine as i was feeling better, that turned out to be a mistake... and i ended up with a second med, (Quetiapine) which i think is more effective than the prozac,

Part of me agrees with the g.p. that meds are for the long term, and would fight tooth and nail to keep them, but another part of me says i'm ok at the moment, i shouldn't need that load of toxic chemicals.

I had been thinking about taking a little less serotonin, it seemed a simple idea, the stuff keeps your brain cells buzzing and active, but that same buzz might be helping keep the depression at bay, and winter is coming which brings its lows anyway.

wishing you all a good nights sleep, guess i'm just thinking aloud,


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7 Replies

  • I listen to. Paul Mc kenna sleep. App it always helps me nod off I started. Listening to it to help me relax.

  • Hi yes I often have a problem with sleeping (understatement of the year!) No easy answers; its different for everyone but for me sometimes looking at the underlying cause I think will solve the sleep problem.

    Being busy and being completely exhausted can help to a certain extent but I'm afraid i'm addicted to zopiclone (sleeping tablets) only one a night but i would not recommend starting them. I would love to come off them but not managed so far.

    Gemma X

  • I'm not too sure that serotonin would stop you from sleeping. It's more adrenalin that causes that problem. I could be wrong as it has been a while since I left uni where I studied Biology. But serotonin is a happy hormone. A lot of people will have trouble sleeping at the moment. I'm waking up more often too.

    (In fact I just looked it up for you - serotonin actually helps to regulate your sleep. So those low in serotonin usually have sleeping problems.)

    In the winter, we have more of a hormone called melatonin which disrupts our sleep but also makes us feel tired. The melatonin, the more tired we feel and the less we sleep (bit of a conundrum, right?). Anyways, sunlight stops the production of melatonin in the body, which is why we are less tired in the summer.


  • I wrote out a whole post to you and then managed to delete it...

    I said that serotonin actually regulates our sleeping patterns. Those low in serotonin have difficulty sleeping, hence people with depression don't sleep well. This is where the meds can actually help depression.

    You should check the side-effects though on the leaflet though, just to make sure I'm right. See if disrupted sleep can be a side-effect.

    Perhaps it is the time of year that is making you feel more tired? This time drags everyone down. There is a hormone called melatonin which we have a higher level of in the winter time. It disrupts out sleep but it also makes us feel more tired (bit of a conundrum, right?). Seems almost pointless to have this hormone as it only seems to give us grief! Sunlight prevents the production of this hormone which is why we feel more upbeat and less sleepy in summer time.

    I wouldn't advise adjusting your own meds - very dangerous. Why would you want to? Doctors are qualified to make these decisions and you should follow what they tell you. Or see more than one doctor if you want another opinion.

    Do you play a lot of games? Like playstation or phones or go on the ineternet a lot? The moving images stimulate the brain and the eyes and can mess up your sleep. Just a thought. I like to read before bed although I can be guilty for watching tv before bed sometimes.

  • I was on fluoxetine for 6 years and my sleep was very reduced over that time. However, after about six months I settled into a routine of just quietly reading, having a calcium tablet and letting my mind drift. When I was given large doses of Vitamin D oil by my shrink I was able to sleep better, although not a normal amount. Reducing the dose is not an option if it actually works with your depression. Try vitamins and minerals, definitely no sleeping tablets- they're depressants anyway.

    On a high dose of venlafaxine I sleep fine, combined with high dose omega 3/6 fish oils every day to stop the pinging side effect, plus Vitamin D to boost the start of the day. This is the best medication combination I have been given since I started antidepressants 30 years ago.

  • The light boxes can be very helpful in regulating sleep as they simulate the natural summertime rise and fall of the sunlight which leads to waking at a regular time and that in itself helps sleeping more during darkness.

  • thanks for the replies.

    I hope it is a passing phase, i certainly don't want to resort to sleeping tablets too often.

    I think i woke about 6 times last night for no reason, interrupting some nice dreams too ..

    i am confused as serotonin seems to both help and hinder sleep,

    i will look up info on melatonin, i know that is used to regulate sleep cycles, it seems a better alternative than hitting the sleeping pills.