Oxytocin to Improve Stress, Sleep and the Holiday Blues

Author: Kimberly Bennett, RPh

Oxytocin to Improve Stress, Sleep and the Holiday Blues

Anxiety, depression and insomnia were among the top complaints in 2020, and these issues are still very prevalent today. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills may only temporarily mask symptoms, but do not address the root causes and therefore delay any true resolution. Those medications can be addictive and have many negative health side effects, as well.

That’s why we want to introduce you to oxytocin, the hormone that links all these symptoms. When your body is not producing enough of this critical hormone, the resulting deficiency is a potential cause of mood disorders, sleep disturbances and other symptoms of compromised mental, emotional and physical health.

What Is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland. It is often referred to as the “love hormone” because of its role in intimacy and physical touch. Hugging, cuddling and holding hands as well as sexual activity all signal oxytocin release. In addition to playing a particularly strong role in romantic and parent-child bonding, oxytocin also facilitates other relationships.

Making eye contact, talking and laughing with friends and other social interactions also stimulate oxytocin release, thereby improving mood and sense of well-being. Relationships and social bonding aside, this hormone also has pervasive effects on your mood and ability to handle stress.

Oxytocin synchronizes a wide range of body-brain reactions, helps regulate stress response pathways in the brain and influences the activity of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. All told, these activities have positive effects on depression, anxiety, insomnia and resilience to stress.

What Happens When Your Oxytocin Level Is Low

You can see why a suboptimal oxytocin level could have a negative effect on your social, emotional, mental and cognitive well-being. In fact, oxytocin deficiency has been linked with multiple mood and stress-related disorders.

Common symptoms of oxytocin deficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of motivation for everyday activities
  • Sexual dysfunction or lack of sexual desire
  • Erectile dysfunction and vaginal atrophy
  • Social isolation
  • Inability to appropriately manage stress
  • Delayed wound healing

Levels of this important hormone naturally decline with age. Excessive stress, social isolation, exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors and diets high in sugar, carbs and fat are also linked with suboptimal levels of oxytocin.

Why Intranasal Oxytocin Can Help

Physicians Preference Pharmacy compounds oxytocin as an intranasal spray or sublingual tablets, depending on the use. When supplementing oxytocin to manage stress and relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia, intranasal delivery is often preferred. Why? Because it successfully penetrates the blood-brain barrier and gets to where all the action originates.

In your brain, oxytocin is primarily localized within the nerve fibers, which underscores its role in curbing anxiety and managing stress. If you are under chronic stress, levels of the stress hormone cortisol remain elevated. This negatively impacts your memory, sleep, mood and immune response and promotes adrenal burnout. Optimizing your oxytocin level helps bring the stress response back into balance.

Intranasal oxytocin also acts on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which are out of whack when you’re anxious and can cause symptoms such as increased heart rate, insomnia, shortness of breath, excessive worry and restlessness. Activating the oxytocin pathway dampens the stress response and allows the body to shift from “fight or flight” survival mode to a state of “rest and repair.”

How to Use Intranasal Oxytocin

  1. Talk to your doctor about a prescription for intranasal oxytocin. Most individuals with the above symptoms are good candidates for this therapy.
  2. Call Physicians Preference Pharmacy at 281-828-9088 to fill your prescription or request additional information about intranasal oxytocin.
  3. Use as directed. Simply spray oxytocin into your nose with our easy-to-use nasal spray bottles, alternating nostrils, once a day or per your doctor’s instructions. Whether you are dealing with depression, anxiety, insomnia, unrelenting stress, social isolation, PTSD, adrenal burnout or chronic pain, intranasal oxytocin may be your answer. Many of our patients have reported significant benefits in interpersonal relationships and multiple areas of mental, emotional and physical health.

We Are Here to Help.

Call us today with any questions about oxytocin or your prescription needs at 281-828-9088. It will be our privilege to serve you!