The first supplement that we are going to discuss is melatonin. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland and is a pea-sized structure at the center of our brains, which helps our eyes register at the fall of darkness. At night, melatonin is produced to help our bodies regulate our wake-sleep cycle. The amount of it produced by our body lessens as we get older, which is why it is important to supplement with melatonin.
Another useful supplement in helping you sleep better is phosphatidylserine. Phosphatidylserine is a natural nutrient found as part of the cell membranes of cells. Phosphatidylserine is most notably found in the cell membranes of neurons, comprising of about 7 to 10 percent of it lipid content. It has been available in the North American market since the early 1990`s, but has been available to the rest of the world for many decades.
L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid that humans cannot live without. Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, melatonin, niacin, and its functional group is idole. Despite its benefits, tryptophan has been implicated as a possible cause for schizophrenia in people who cannot metabolize it properly. When properly metabolized, it creates a waste product in the brain that is toxic, causing delusions and hallucinations.
The most common sleep aid, ZMA, is a combination of the two essential dietary minerals, zinc and magnesium. These two minerals are sometimes not adequately supplied in the diet so it could benefit you if you don`t have sleep troubles. The zinc is in the chemical forms zinc methionine and aspartate while the magnesium is in the aspartate form. There is no evidence of any claim that ZMA has any effects beyond those of taking equivalent amounts of zinc, magnesium, or Vitamin B6. All of these substances are healthy and the combination will also be healthy as long as it is not overdosed.
Serotonin is known to regulate mood, appetite, sleep, emotion, and is implicated in the control of numerous behavioral functions. Decreased serotoninergic neurotransmission has been proposed to play a key role in the treatment of depression. The concentration of synaptic serotonin is controlled directly by its uptake in the pre-synaptic terminal. In addition to anti-depressants, highly specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been developed, which are increasingly prescribed for depressed patients.
The final sleep aid supplement that we will discuss is 5-HTP. 5-HTP is found in some over-the-counter weight loss formulas and is an extract from a West African plant seed containing a contaminant linked to a rare blood disorder. Despite the fact that it can help you sleep, it has not been proven to effectively promote weight loss. 5HTP is also a breakdown product of the amin acid tryptophan present in most protein rich foods.