(2019 Note: The initial chemistry is flawed but the mechanics seem to consistently produce altered states of perception that are highly likely to be attributed to upregulation of endogenous DMT (amongs many other biochemical fluctuations). This is especially in light of the recent endogenous DMT study undertaken by the University of Michigan titled, “Biosynthesis of DMT in the Mammalian Brain”. The researchers observed levels of endogenous DMT were comparable to levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. Periphery studies regarding the effects of respiratory function also provide support to the notion that DMT is upregulated by these altered breathing patterns via upregulation of theta & gamma oscillations & increased cerebrospinal fluid production.)
“In respiratory alkalosis, as blood carbon dioxide (CO2) decreases, intracellular CO2, which is readily diffusible across the cell membrane, moves into the plasma. The loss of CO2 from the cell causes the intracellular pH to rise. This rise in pH stimulate glycolysis, which requires phosphate ions to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP).” ‘Severe Hypophosphatemia in Respiratory Alkalosis’. Advanced Studies in Medicine O’Brien, Thomas M; Coberly, LeAnn (2003). 3 (6): 347
DMT (Dimethyltryptamine): C12H16N2
The difference between both compounds is one atom of carbon and two atoms of oxygen. It’s rather well known that Melatonin levels in the body tend to peak when we are in deep sleep. It’s also rather commonly observed that during deep sleep, humans are generally engaged in the type of breathing that normally would be considered much deeper and more frequent than in normal waking states.
If you have never done so, I suggest you actually observe first-hand and time the breathing patterns of someone while they sleep. I’ve consistently witnessed a strong in-breath that can last 3 seconds followed by a weak out-breath that lasts for 2 seconds. I’ve seen this type of breathing pattern continue for 10-15 minutes without any interruption.
This type of breathing could easily be characterized as a form of hyperventilation which is very commonly known as the primary cause of respiratory alkalosis.
As seen in the excerpt above, it would provide a rather straight forward equation as to what is transpiring in the brain during our dream states. Due to our deep breathing patterns which induces respiratory alkalosis, the Carbon and Oxygen atoms are removed from the Melatonin molecules (or pH increase causes a cascade effect of enzyme activation) which then leave us with DMT which equates to our dream states. The deeper we breathe and the more Melatonin we secrete, the more vivid our dreams become as more DMT is the end product.
It is not surprising as to why people who take Melatonin pills prior to sleeping, frequently experience significantly more vivid dreams in comparison to when they do not take it. Incorporating the excerpt from above, it seems as though the additional Melatonin might be undergoing a conversion via an increase in pH (CO2 removal) which is providing even higher amounts of DMT than normal.
In the first post for DMT Quest, we proposed the possibility that CO2 levels in the body affected whether Melatonin or DMT was produced by the Pineal Gland. After looking further into the mechanisms of Respiratory Alkalosis, intra-/extracellular CO2 effects, and the observation of externally derived Melatonin administration, it appears as though DMT is likely derived from Melatonin via intracellular ph rise (CO2 removal) from alkalosis. There is probably a certain complexity of enzymatic functions taking place that lead to these end points but from a surface observation, we do believe that Melatonin is being transmuted within the body.
(REM sleep is associated with dreaming which is hypothesized to occur from natural DMT release at night. A 2010 study in the journal Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology showcases the rapid increase in breath rate in mice and humans during REM sleep. Indolethylamine-N-methyltransferase (INMT) is the enzyme that converts DMT from Tryptamine and was shown to increase during sleep in a 1977 study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry. This lends further credence to the postulation that Melatonin – CO2 = DMT based on the enzymatic upregulation based on pH change.)
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