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Chemistry: Dreams/Nightmares/NightTerrors/Sleeping(Mainly about sleeping)

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Treyvaughn D

on 12 December 2012

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Transcript of Chemistry: Dreams/Nightmares/NightTerrors/Sleeping(Mainly about sleeping)

Sleeping: Dreams and Nightmares a presentation mainly on sleeping. and chemicals... Dreams, nightmares, and night terrors are all caused by different chemicals being released while you’re sleeping. The difference between a nightmare and a night terror is this: Basically, a nightmare is just a really bad dream. A dream, in which, you have strong ‘negative’ feelings taking place, whether it may be Curiosity, anxiety, or simply feeling that you’re scared. Night terrors are a little different. During a night terror, the individual wakes up knowing that they have been screaming (he/she wakes up screaming) and sometimes the individual may even act out the nightmares physically (violent sleep walking.) Night terrors usually only occur within children but it is not exempt to adults. The way you fall asleep is through the activation of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. “Various chemicals can actually induce nightmares in a person. One common substance is alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol can greatly affect your sleep cycle. A common misconception about alcohol is that it is effective in helping one sleep more soundly through the night. While a moderate amount of alcohol can be helpful in inducing sleep, excessive consumption can actually lead to vivid dreams which, more often than not, take the form of nightmares. These nightmares usually occur near the end of your sleep cycle when the alcohol has already worn off. They are extraordinarily vivid because the brain tries to make up for the lost REM phase that was pushed out of your earlier sleep hours due to intoxication and the abnormally prolonged period of deep inactive sleep.” Sleeping is our ‘default’ state. We should be sleeping right now but our bodies will not allow us to do so because our bodies secrete Acetylcholine and other chemicals that induce wakefulness. These chemicals reduce throughout the day making us tired at the end of the day. Your Melatonin levels rise several hours before you sleep, overtaking the other chemicals that were previously released to keep you awake.
Serotonin (Neurotransmitter.) Keeps parts of the brain active while we are awake. Serotonin is one of the most important chemicals in our bodies that help regulating the sleep/wake cycle. Serotonin also is synthesized by the pineal gland to make melatonin, the hormone that is directly related to healthy sleep. Melatonin can be taken as a dietary supplement. When melatonin is taken, it helps people with sleep disorders get to sleep more quickly. However, excess melatonin levels can also lead to trouble sleeping and other health issues.
Serotonin is its common name. A more scientific name for Serotonin would be “5-hydroxytryptamin.” (5 H-T)" There are specific chemicals in our bodies that contribute to our sleep patterns. Serotonin is an Organic compound.
Molecular/chemical formula for Serotonin: C10H12N2O.
Molar Mass: 176.2151 g/mol Melatonin.
Cells in the suprachiasmatic nucleus contain receptors for melatonin, a hormone produced in a predictable daily rhythm by the pineal gland, which is located deep in the brain between the two hemispheres. Levels of melatonin begin climbing after dark and ebb after dawn. The hormone induces drowsiness in some people, and scientists believe its daily light-sensitive cycles help keep the sleep/wake cycle on track.
Melatonin is its common name. Its chemical name is “N-acetyl-5-methoxytrptamine.”
Chemical family: Organic
Chemical Formula for Melatonin: CH16N2O2 Molar Mass: 232.27834 Oxytocin (Neurohormone.) Oxytocin, once released in the body, effects sleep processes. Levels of oxytocin peak at around 5 hours after sleep onset when REM sleep predominates. Oxytocin levels are also correlated with stages of light sleep (Stage 2 of sleeping). Dreams from Stage II are just as filled with social interactions as dreams from REM sleep. Oxytocin is a peptide hormone. Scientists believe that since Oxytocin affects our social emotions in real life, that it may do the same while we are asleep. “ If OT influences social emotions in waking life there is no reason to believe it doesn't do so in dreams.” “ Previous research has demonstrated that sleep and dream recall varies significantly by social/relationship orientation and status. Persons classified with ‘anxious' attachment styles enter sleep faster, sleep longer, and recall more negative dreams and nightmares than persons classified with ‘avoidant' orientations. Oxytocin levels and activity may be the factor that connects social relationships in waking life and depictions of social relationships in dreams.” Chemical formula: C43H66N12O12S2
Molar Mass: 1007.18734

*Oxytocin is an organic compound* The next chemical may be considered one of the
more important chemicals involved with REM sleep
patterns. Acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine neurons are associated cortical arousal (Increase in wave frequency) which is directly related to REM sleep. REM sleep begins in the Peribrachial (REM headquarters) area of the brain where Acetylcholine neurons go directly. Cells that release Acetylcholine are called "cholinergic". These cholinergic cells project into the forebrain and cerebral cortex and causes stimulation of these areas, resulting in behavioral arousal. Chemical Formula: CH3COOCH2CH2N(CH3)3 Molar Mass: 146.2074 g/mol Adenosine Adenosine appears to accumulate in your bloodstream when you're awake and eventually makes you drowsy. Inside your brain, your adenosine levels exert a major influence on the regulation of non-REM sleep, according to a 2008 study published in "Biochemical Pharmacology." This regulating effect occurs when an enzyme called adenosine deaminase breaks down, or metabolizes, adenosine molecules. The rate of this metabolism has an effect on the intensity and duration of sleep when slow brain waves are present. Metabolism also reduces your brain's adenosine supplies, and your adenosine levels drop as sleep continues. Chemical Formula: C10H16N5O13P3 Molar Mass: 507.18 g/mol
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