What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is known as the ‘mood stabiliser’, it's produced in the brain and stomach and controls our feelings of well being and happiness. Serotonin is made from the essential amino acid tryptophan and is a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) sending messages between brain cells. Its main function is to help us regulate our moods, memory, sleep and digestion. So, it certainly has a huge impact on the whole of our body.

Serotonin levels are higher during infancy and childhood than during adulthood. Often in adolescence low levels of Serotonin is evident in delf destructive and fluctuating behaviours. 

Maintaining strong levels of Serotonin helps us feel more grounded, calm and generally happier. 

Serotonin helps to naturally regulate our mood which is why it’s known as a mood stabiliser, feeling calm increases our focus and helps us learn and grow. Serotonin has a strong influence on our sleep and sleep routines by helping to produce melatonin. It is important we have the right levels of Serotonin as excess can actually prevent us from sleeping. 

95% of Serotonin is produced within our stomach, which helps us know when we are full. Elevated levels of serotonin can make us feel sick in fact our body naturally produce more of it when it senses bad food that we need to expel from our body.




How is it triggered in the body?

Serotonin is more sensitive to diet than any other neurotransmitter. So, any foods that trigger the production of the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed to help produce Serotonin, are so important to eat when trying to boost your levels. Eating foods including, whole-wheat bread, low-fat meats, cheese, oatmeal, nuts, fish, plums, pineapple can boost your Serotonin levels.

Exercising triggers the production of tryptophan and depletes all the other amino acids, which creates a stronger pathway for serotonin to reach the brain. Creating a regular exercise routine keeps Serotonin levels in check at the same time as keeping us healthy.

Spending time in sunshine gives another natural boost of Serotonin, the natural light increases our levels, which is why we see a decrease in the production of it during the winter months.


How can we get more Serotonin?


Getting motivated and incorporating exercise into our daily routine, whether it’s going for a walk or going to the gym, triggers the production of Serotonin. When we feel like we have no energy or motivation, it is usually due to the lack of Serotonin in our bodies. As soon as you get motivated and moving your body triggers the production and you start feeling great.

Healthy Eating

95% of serotonin is produced within our tummy’s which plays a huge part in helping us to identify when we’re full, aids digestion contributes to normal bowel function and helps to digest food easier. Due to this our diet plays a very significant role in the production of serotonin and there are certain foods that actually trigger the production. Check out our 'Foods That Boost Your Serotonin Guide'

'Foods That Boost Your Serotonin Guide' arrow


Being outdoors in the fresh air and natural sunlight can have amazing benefits to our wellbeing. Researchers have found as little as five minutes outdoors in a natural setting can improve mood, increase motivation, and boost self-esteem giving a real boost to our natural levels of serotonin. Try our 'Silent Nature Walk'. Did you know there is a harmless bacteria in the soil that increases the release of Serotonin which helps children feel happy and relaxed? It's time to get your hands dirty...

Try our 'Silent Nature Walk' arrow


Sleep and Serotonin are very closely linked, too much Serotonin can have a negative impact on your ability to get to sleep however healthy levels of Serotonin supports melatonin production which leads to healthier sleep patterns and better quality sleep. Do you know the optimum number of hours of sleep our bodies need is dependent upon our age. Download our sleep tracker and see if you and your children get enough sleep.

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Movement and exercise help to trigger the production of Serotonin plus with yoga you have the added benefit of controlled breathing which further boosts your happy hormone production. Yoga plays a huge part in improving our muscle strength, body posture, heart health and lowers our blood pressure as well as reducing symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. Why would we not build yoga into our everyday routine?

What happens if we have a deficiency?

If you have a Serotonin deficiency you might suffer from digestive, stomach issues and feelings of sickness. Those who have low Serotonin levels often suffer from anxiety and stress which is commonly linked with stomach complaint such as IBS. Low levels of Serotonin and the impact on digestion impacts appetite either by suppressing hunger or craving sweet foods and foods high in carbohydrates.

There is are a strong correlation between low levels of Serotonin and depression, low mood, irritability and aggression as a lack of Serotonin can lead to mood swings. An imbalance of Serotonin and the impact it has on sleep can be significant with people experiencing irritation and frustration caused by tireness at a basic level which can escalate to severe stress and anxiety at a more severe level.

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Download our free 100 ways to boost your Serotonin guide 




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