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Thread: Androgens And REM Sleep (Crazy Dreams).

  1. #1

    Default Androgens And REM Sleep (Crazy Dreams).

    Neurotransmitters involved in REM and non-REM sleep transition

    The chemical neurotransmitters involved in the activation and inhibition properties
    during sleep are the biogenic amines: norepinephrine and serotonin. In our daily routine
    these chemicals send messages to the brain cells concerning responding, recording and
    help the brain store information. The amines’ role is to inform the other brain cells what
    to do with messages that are received externally or internally. When we are awake, these
    cells fire and secrete amines continuously witch enable us to attend and control our
    thoughts while restraining the cholinergic system (Hobson, 1997). Hobson explains that
    the biggest cluster of serotonin cells and norepinephrine are in the nuclei of the pons. The
    sleep cycle consists of the pontine neurons containing these amines and are inhibited
    during non-REM sleep. While this is occurring during non-REM sleep, the acetylcholine
    system is reaching the activation threshold and building up. After 70 to 80 minutes the
    chemical balance systems switch and the activity in the aminergic cells plunge while the
    activity of the acetylcholine plummets more intensely than waking stimulation. At this
    point a chemical alteration of the brain from non-REM to REM sleep has occurred.
    In dreaming, the brain succumbs to the mediating influence of the cholinergic system.
    The visuo-motor systems are activated as well as the emotional stimulated limbic system
    ultimately uniting to send signals to the motor generators producing hallucinations of
    movement (characteristic of flying, dancing, or running in dreams). Motor commands are
    emitted out into the brain by neurotransmitters yet not relayed to the muscles because the
    spinal motor nerves are inhibited or temporarily paralyzed (Hobson, 1997). Typically, the
    end of the dream ends abruptly after the cyclic 90-minute rhythm of REM sleep because
    Neurophysiology of Dreams 8 the acetylcholine turns off immediately when the serotonin and norepinephrine neurons turn back on. At this point recall, focus and memory are established with the onset of wakefulness.

    Limbic activation and hormonal effects

    The limbic core structures, such as the amygdala and hippocampus, play a direct role
    in the expression of drive and affect (aggression and emotions), memory, and the
    homeostatic control of autonomic and endocrine function (Braun, et. al, 1997). The
    function of the limbic activation during REM sleep could have some correlation with the
    emotional content of dreams reported during this phase (Braun, et. al, 1997). One facet of
    potential hormonal affects is the complex systematic transference of the androgen,
    testosterone. Testosterone is part of a diurnal rhythm of peak levels of Leutinizing Hormone and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone which are secreted by the pituitary gland with a negative feedback loop to the hypothalamus (Sternbach, 1998). It has been documented for exaggerating the action potential sent by the amygdala of the limbic system. The amygdala communicates chemically with the hypothalamus by sending bursts of electrical excitation or action potentials through the stia terminalis (Sapolsky, 1997). When the hormone testosterone (produced by Leydig cells) enters this portion of the brain to be metabolized by Sa-reductase to a more potent androgen, dihydrotestosterone (which is metabolized by aromatase to estradiol), it increases the rate of action potential sent by the amygdala. This interaction could occur during REM and potentially affect Neurophysiology of Dreams 9 dream patterns emotionally (aggressive or sexual content). Hormone interaction plays a significant role in dreams and more investigation in this area would be interesting.


    Testosterone and other androgens (IE: trenbolone) have pronounced effects on all neurotransmitters; especially dopamine and acetylcholine. Therefore, I believe that increased levels of dopamine are increasing thus overpowering the effects of seretonin causing trouble falling asleep and changing the normal sleep routine. When the person finally does enter REM sleep; the noradrenaline and seretonin shuts off and the higher levels of dopamine and acetylcholine run amuck thus causing your “strange dreams”. The increase in libido may also switch the focus of your otherwise innocent dreams into something more seductive.

    I hope this helps,


    PS: Part of this is personal speculation (ie: part of the conclusion). All other facts are documented thoroughly and are completely accurate as of today’s date.
    ***STK - Until we meet again my friend. You will never be forgotten***

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    very interesting

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