Get off My Nerves–The Link Between the Nervous System and Metabolism
The nervous system made up of cells, tissues, and organs that regulates the body’s response to internal and external stimuli is extremely important for the high-maintenance functioning of the body. In humans, it consists of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia, and receptors on/of certain organs.
For years now, scientists have shown that the nervous system plays a role in weight gain, one that may be genetically predisposed, but may also be tweaked by following certain habits. The neurotransmitter serotonin, familiar to most people because of the role it (or a lack of it) plays in clinical depression, also has something to do with the way fat is metabolized in the body and the way our bodies interpret hunger.
The more serotonin in the body, the less appetite we have, and the quicker fat is metabolized. The nervous system is also responsible for the creation of other hormones that affect our weight–such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Some ways to soothe and support your nervous system are listed here and you can also try Nutrisystem reviews for a more detailed list of things that you can try:
Sleep. Getting a full night of sleep (7-9hours) is actually considered by many experts to be the number one change you can make to improve your health. Sleep removes waste products from your nervous system, particularly excess hormones that lead to weight gain. A chronic lack of sleep has been proven to lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
If you have trouble sleeping, the herb valerian is your best bet–potent and gentle at the same time, it works wonders for fighting insomnia. If you are just too busy, try taking cat-naps throughout the day–fifteen minutes to a half an hour really can add up. Whatever you do, however, don’t try to make up for sleep deprivation by sleeping all day on the weekends. This can actually make insomnia worse since it disrupts your sleep-wake cycle.
Chill out, man. Meditation is a proven nervous system soother. It increases the levels of alpha brain waves, proven to relax the entire nervous system. It is also thought that meditation can help increase the serotonin in your brain, decreasing depression and weight gain. Meditation can take many forms–from simple Zazen sitting meditation, to walking meditation, running, or listening to soothing music.
Eat your Oats and Stuff. Including nerve friendly food and herbs in our diet is another tried and true way of relaxing our nervous system and supporting it at the same time. Oats–in the form of oatmeal or oat straw tea is considered a tremendous nervine tonic. In addition, the fiber in oatmeal is a great weight loss aid and helps lower cholesterol and lessens the risk for heart disease.
To increase serotonin in the brain try taking a supplement of St. John’s Wort, Siberian Ginseng, and/or licorice–all are proven natural anti-depressants that help with nervous system support and healthy eating and metabolic patterns.