The Role of Serotonin and Dopamine in the Creative Mind
To fully understand what makes the creative mind tick, we need to begin with some basics of neuroscience and the chemistry of the brain. The central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord is responsible for distributing signals between the brain and body.
Within the nervous system are neural structures which use hormones to send messages. The most well-known are serotonin and dopamine but there are over 60 different types of these chemical messengers produced by the body.
The roles of these hormones have been referred to as the biological roots of creativity. Serotonin is in charge of anxiety, calmness, fear and contentment. Dopamine controls apathy, boredom, excitement and engagement.
High levels of both these hormones would result in a wave of serenity, whilst also feeling energised. This combination is the perfect recipe for the creative mind.
Finding that sense of both tranquillity and vigorous energy is often easier said than done. There are, however, routes to the creative freedoms you seek.
Another hormone that an effect the way you feel, is cortisol. Levels of this hormone rise when you are feeling stressed which counters the work serotonin undertakes to keep you relaxed. In the animal kingdom, stress reduces an animals need to seek out new territories and find mates.
In humans, we see similar responses. When experiencing high levels of stress, we tend to stick to what we know. For the creative mind, high levels of cortisol mean low levels of creative output.
Keeping a stress free and relaxed life are then paramount to creativity. By reducing stress and worry, you optimise creativity.
Lack of sleep is a serial offender when it comes to negative effects on creativity. This is because of the direct correlation between sleep and serotonin. There are many, many studies into sleep, sleeping patterns and the cycles of sleep. In unison, these studies cite two-hours of deep sleep being required for your brain to fully restore serotonin.
Deep sleep is the most important of the sleep cycles. It is the moment you are truly switched off from the world and at your hardest to wake up. Sleep cycles can be affected by age, alcohol, sleep disorders and most importantly your sleep pattern. Keeping a steady sleep pattern will help your brain achieve deep sleep status.
Representing just 30% of your average sleep cycle, missing out on deep sleep can have a profound effect on creativity. Alcohol and caffeine will disrupt your ability to achieve deep sleep, so finding refreshment elsewhere, especially in the run up to bedtime, can make all the difference.
When undertaking cardiovascular exercise, a peptide is released which helps with serotonin production. Having a ten-to-fifteen-minute walk will almost certainly leave you feeling motivated and switched on.
Walking and talking your way through a brainstorming session can have real positive impact on the way your brain is thinking and creating.
The Early Bird
It is said that the early bird catches the worm. From a scientific point of view, this is certainly the case. Serotonin is at its peak during the morning. For those able to capitalise on the early hours, you should find levels of productivity much higher than later in the day.
To get the best out of your mornings, high protein breakfasts will play an advantage. Protein is converted to serotonin and dopamine giving you an extra AM boost. Although caffeine is often cited as a jump start in the morning, for the creative mind, risks of heightening levels of stress could easily have the opposite effect.
CBD & Creative Hormones
Whilst there is no evidence to suggest CBD directly boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, it certainly gives your body the tools it needs to successfully produce the pair. On top of being the key to success in the production of these hormones, CBD has hugely positive effects on the nervous system.
In boosting the function of receptors in the brain and around the nervous system, CBD helps optimise the function of dopamine and serotonin in the body.
By using CBD as part of a regular routine, you can help your body to relax naturally. Known for improving sleep patterns and sleep quality, CBD can also help you achieve the levels of deep sleep your body needs to replenish its levels of serotonin.
Decreasing levels of anxiety, promoting relaxation and creativity are all documented results of regular CBD intake. By allowing your body to create more of the good hormones it needs to keep the creative juices flowing, you can fall into better routines.
As part of a regular routine, Goodrays CBD Oils, CBD Gummies and CBD drinks offer a helping hand towards a more balanced life with reduced anxiety, improved relaxation and sleep plus increased access to the creative juices that keep us inspired to meet life’s challenges on a day to day basis.