Improving Sleep With Supplements
Everyone experiences nights of tossing and turning from time to time. But for some people, laying awake is a nightly occurrence. Often, people who struggle with insomnia are also battling depression. Part of a well-rounded treatment plan for both conditions can include supplements to improve sleep.
The link between insomnia and depression
Not everyone who has insomnia is depressed, but the two conditions are commonly linked. One of the tell-tale symptoms of depression is sleep disturbances. Many patients who are dealing with negative moods experience changes in sleep, either sleeping too much or too little.
While stimulants like coffee can make sleep worse, some ingredients can help people sleep better. L-theanine, an amino acid in green tea, helps to improve moods and sleep. Medical experts have found that people who supplement with L-theanine have lower cortisol levels and less severe stress responses. Drinking green tea can also be a mild sedative, helping people to get to sleep easier.
Serotonin for sleep
Many people think of serotonin as a chemical that only improves mood. But studies have shown that tryptophan, another amino acid-like L-theanine, also helps improve sleep. Tryptophan in the body is converted to 5-HTP. This 5-HTP then boosts serotonin production, which is linked to better moods, less anxiety and depression, and more restful sleep.
Make more melatonin
More serotonin also stimulates the process of producing melatonin, which has always been on lists of sleep improvement supplements. Melatonin is responsible for signaling the body to go to sleep. Today, many people struggle with producing adequate melatonin naturally due to a dependence on devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. The blue light these devices emit suppresses melatonin production. Patients may want to take a melatonin supplement or supplement with 5-HTP to stimulate the production of the chemical.
The benefits of B
The vitamin B family offers many benefits, from improving neurological function to mood regulation. Researchers have found a direct correlation to vitamin B and anxiety and depression. Patients suffering from anxiety, which is often associated with insomnia, have been shown to have a deficiency in vitamin B.
GABA is a neurotransmitter naturally made in the brain. The neurotransmitter can also be taken as a supplement to help boost mood and provide calm. GABA works by blocking certain impulses between nerve cells. The supplement has been shown to improve mood and reduce insomnia. In one study, people who have insomnia had levels of GABA that were 30% lower than people without a sleep disorder.
Find the right supplement
No one supplement is a magic pill, but taking supplements as part of an overall treatment plan can be extremely useful. Many supplements can help to reduce depression and improve insomnia. To learn more, speak with a pharmacist.