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笑顔の女性

幸せ物質・セロトニンを増やすための具体的方法

幸せな女性

セロトニンは生活リズムや食品の摂取、運動などで増やすことが可能です。

セロトニンは精神を安定させる物質ですが、量を増やす構造がある程度解明されているので、これらの方法でセロトニンの分泌量を増やすことが可能です。本稿ではセロトニンを増やす方法やセロトニンに関する注意点(セロトニン症候群について)などをまとめています。

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セロトニンの働きと減少傾向

太陽

セロトニンは、精神の安定を回復させて気持ちをリラックスさせるために役立つ神経伝達物質です。セロトニンの量を増やすことで精神は安定してリラックスして過ごすことができます。

セロトニンは一方で幸せ物質と呼ばれる反面、その不足が最近さけばれています。生活の不規則化などにより、現代人はセロトニンが減少傾向にあり、その結果としてイライラ・暴力(いわゆる「キレる」と呼ばれる事件)などが増えていると言われます。

セロトニンを増やすことは生活の質を良くして気持ちの良い毎日を送ることにつながります。セロトニンを増やすためには一体どのようにすれば良いのでしょうか。

セロトニンを増やすための具体的な方法

体内のセロトニンを増やすためには、以下のような方法を採ることが効果的です。

朝の光を全身に浴びる

朝、起床後に全身で光を浴びると目が覚めて1日の行動の活力の源となります。この朝の光は、セロトニンを増やすために役立ちます。睡眠作用に関して、セロトニンと対になっている物質としてメラトニンがあります。セロトニンは精神活動を安定させる物質ですが、睡眠との関係で考察すると、セロトニンには覚醒効果を促す働きがあります。これと対になってメラトニンは睡眠を促進させる物質です。

面白いことにこのメラトニンとセロトニンは相関関係があり、朝の光はメラトニンの働きを弱めセロトニンを増やすという作用があることが判明しています。そのため、朝起きた時に光を全身にたっぷり浴びることでセロトニンを増やすことが可能となります。天気が良くない日であれば、部屋の照明・電気であっても、セロトニンを増やす効果は十分に期待することができます。

食事に配慮する

セロトニンを増やすためには食事に配慮することも大きな効果があります。セロトニンはトリプトファンという物質を摂取することで量が増えます。そのため、トリプトファンが多く含まれる食品・食事をとることがセロトニンを増やす上では非常に役立つこととなります。

トリプトファンが多く含まれる食材としては牛乳やチーズなどの乳製品、豆腐や納豆などの豆類を挙げることができます。これらの食材を積極的に摂ることでセロトニンを増やすことにつながります。

リズミカルな運動をする

リズムカルな運動はセロトニンを増やす効果があるといわれます。例えば、ウォーキングやフラダンス、エアロバイクなどがセロトニンの分泌量を増やすためには役立ちます。経験的にもウォーキングやエアロバイクなどをされたあとなどは大変気持ちが良いのではないでしょうか。リズミカルな運動にはセロトニンを増やす効果があります。

セロトニンを増やすにあたっての注意点

何事もすぎたるは及ばざるがごとしであり、あまりにセロトニンの量を増やすと良くないこともあります。いわば、セロトニンを増やすことには一種の「副作用」があります。

セロトニンを増やしすぎてしまった場合、逆に健康に対する悪影響が生じることがあります。これをセロトニン中毒(セロトニン症候群)といいます。セロトニンの量を増やすことは確かにリラックス効果を生みますが、増やすことが過剰となるとかえって健康に害を及ぼします。例えば、吐き気やめまい、体のふるえ、筋肉痙攣などが生じます。もっとも程度が激しい場合には死亡してしまうケースもあります。

このような症状はセロトニンを増やすことが過剰であった場合に、生じえます。

具体的にはうつ病対策などとしてセロトニンの分泌を促進させる薬物などを医師の処方に従わず過剰に摂取した場合などに生じえます。セロトニンを増やすことは一般的にはリラックスなどの効果を生じますが、過剰に増やすことはセロトニン症候群を引き起こす可能性があり、かえって健康を害する結果になることも一応意識に入れておかれることが重要ということができます。

セロトニンの作用・増やす方法のまとめ

以上、本文で述べましたセロトニンを増やす方法などのポイントをまとめますと以下のようになります。

  • セロトニンを増やすことで精神をリラックスさせるなどの良い効果が期待できます
  • セロトニンを増やす具体的な方法としては、朝たっぷりと光を浴びることやトリプトファンを含む食品を摂取すること、テンポの良い運動をすることなどがセロトニンを増やす方法として効果的です
  • セロトニンを増やすことにあまり過剰になりすぎてしまうと、セロトニン症候群が発症する可能性もありえます。セロトニンを増やすことは精神の安定をもたらしますが、その程度などには注意をする必要があります

セロトニンはとても注目されている神経伝達物質です。適切に量を増やして精神的に安定した毎日を送ることができるようにしたいものです。

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