Reprinted fromNature's Field
by Debi Lippert
Also read this page on "sleep cycle" [ About the importance of going to bed on time. ]
Due to many questions concerning sleeping disorders, I thought it a positive approach to present an article, not only on sleep, but to address questions on serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Covered in this article will be stages of sleep, reports from Western physicians, and medications (serotonin boosters). I will discuss depression, and natural selections to boost serotonin, reduce pain, sleep-aid and fight depression.
1. You are relaxing with eyes closed. Breathing is regular, pulse even,
and you have fleeting thoughts.
Causes of insomnia
There are two categories of insomnia: sleep onset (difficulty falling
asleep, or the fish-out-of-water syndrome) and maintenance insomnia
(frequent or early awakening or the somebody-hit-me-over-the-head syndrome).
There are many reasons a person may suffer with insomnia. Everyday
stress, tension, environmental changes, and emotional stress affect sleep.
Fear of sleep (abused children and adult survivors suffer this), pain,
discomfort, and smoking can also have a negative affect on sleep.
Overview of the causes of insomnia and hints to help
Many causes of sleeping disturbances are similar, and really, when you
address the most serious, other conditions resolve themselves.
Many of the antidepressant drugs and the natural treatments used by
physicians ( western psychiatrists is designed to correct or lessen imbalances
in the biogenic amines [biochemical de-rangement's characterized by
imbalances of amino acids which form neurotransmitters]. Serotonin,
melatonin, dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline. The essential amino
acid tryptophan serves as the precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Phenylalanine
and tyrosine are precursors to dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline.
The following medications are prescribed to assist in increasing the
availability of serotonin: Elavil, Flexeril, Sinequan, and Prozac (antidepressants
given in low doses). Xanax, Klonopin and Restoril (benzodiazepines)
may have both antidepressant and anti anxiety properties.
I think I have made it clear to the reader, that nutrition is vital for wellness. Also important, is the responsibility and control one has to better one's lot in life. No one holds you down and shoves harmful foods, drinks or drugs down your throat or insists that you smoke. Granted, no one is perfectly disciplined, yet the choice is yours. I will try to simplify the sometimes confusing and complicated relationship between neurotransmitters and vital nutritional support. This list contains abbreviated, nutritional supplements known to help sleep, depression, and pain.
Calcium has a sedative effect on the body. Magnesium is as important, if not more so. Calcium and magnesium supplements are available in several forms and milligrams. Herbal sources are more absorbable, in my opinion. Chromium is very helpful for people with nocturnal hypoglycemia (a drop in blood glucose level promotes awakening through the release of glucose regulatory hormones).
Vitamins B3 (Niacin) and B6 (Pyridoxine) feeds the nerves. Vitamin B6
aids in the conversion of tryptophan, to niacin. Daily supply of all the B
Vitamins (a complex formula) is vital, because it is excreted in the urine
within eight hours after ingestion, and none is stored in the liver. If taking
a B-complex I strongly urge a balanced formula. In other words, all of the
"B's" will have the same milligram. (Example: B1 50 mg. B2 50 mg. B6 50
Amino Acid complex
Both tryptophan and phenylalanine are considered essential amino acids
(EAA). Phenylalanine is turned into norepinephrine and dopamine, transmitters
which promote alertness and alleviates depression. Complex phenylalanine
(DLPA) is very effective for pain and depression. Essential Amino Acids are eight which cannot be manufactured
by the body, and must be supplied by foods or supplements. Leucine, lysine,
methionine, isoleucine, valine and threonine are the other six. (You may
remember tryptophan being banned by the FDA after one contaminated
batch from Japan caused a serious blood disease in several people.
Calcium - Milk and dairy. Herbs.
B-Complex: Liver, whole grains, wheat germ, tuna, bananas, sunflower seeds and blackstrap molasses.
Amino acids - tryptophan is found in milk/dairy products (cottage cheese). Turkey, fish (tuna), dried dates, peanuts and bananas. The herb Chamomile is a natural source of tryptophan.
Phenylalanine - all protein rich foods, soy products, cottage cheese and almonds. Lima beans, pumpkin seeds.
So now that I have you nearly comatose from confusion, I went the extra
mile and studied several natural alternative formulas. This includes combinations
of vitamins and minerals, herbs (pure sources of vitamins, minerals
and enzymes) and Homeopathics (natural medicine). Each of these formulas
are non-addictive, and will not give you the "drugged" feeling in the
First on the list, because I feel it has great merit is: Melatonin. Melatonin is a compound found in the pineal body, which has a molecular structure similar to that of serotonin. Melatonin is given to travelers for jet lag, and those suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
MEGA-CHEL: Vitamins, minerals and glandular extracts in herbal
blends. Fights pain, stress, nervine effect.
STRESS-J: Herbal blend - pain, sleep, nerves, depression.
Nutri-Calm: B vitamins with pain and nervine herbs. Feeds glands.
Herbal CA: Herbal calcium. Pain, nerves, muscle spasms.
Herbal Sleep: Hops, Valerian, Scullcap - Relaxes muscles, fights pain, sedative.
Nerve Eight - Eight pain and nerve fighting herbs. Stress, and anxiety.
Joint Support - Fights pain and general stiffness.
Valerian Root Extract - Valerian root, and five other herbs to ease pain and stress.
Tips for better sleep: Darken and soundproof your bedroom. Use
earplugs if a light sleeper. Adjust the temperature, add a window AC if
necessary. The bed must suit your needs, as well as the pillow.
2018 Nature2u - USA