A bad night of sleep is like a nightmare that you are awake for. Your mind races. You can’t seem to get comfortable. You toss and turn, struggling to find which body position will be the key to unlocking an evening of uninterrupted sleep.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 50 million to 70 million people suffer from a sleep disorder. So there’s a good chance that you do not receive the 7 to 9 hours of daily sleep that the National Sleep Foundation reports the average adult should have.
As sleep disorders become chronic, your day-to-day life may become compromised. Effects of sleep disorders include:
- Lack of focus
- Poor work performance
- Wandering thoughts
- Short-term memory loss
- Impaired driving
- Weakened immune system
Sleep is pivotal to repair the body and mind. However, our ability to get rejuvenating rest is jeopardized when life offers little bumps in the road. Situations that are beyond our control such as work, family, and financial stresses can cause our hormones and neurons into overdrive, resulting in a lack of sleep.
The best way to combat these imbalances is to make them in-balance. There are 3 key chemicals that can regulate your sleep patterns. An all-natural sleep remedy of GABA, 5-HTP, and melatonin may ensure your body a full night’s rest. Here’s how GABA, 5-HTP, and melatonin combined offer a knockout blow to sleep deprivation.
GABA, or Gamma-aminobutyric acid (we’ll stick to GABA), is known to have a calming effect on the brain. The reason for this is because GABA is an amino acid synthesized by glutamate. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that can wreak havoc on the system if over-stimulated. GABA keeps glutamate in check from becoming over-excited by working as the calming yin to the excited yang of glutamate.
Low GABA levels have been linked to cases of insomnia. The Journal of Sleep published a study that found that people suffering from insomnia had 30 percent lower GABA levels as compared to controls.
Evening out GABA levels allows for your mind to relax and in turn, your body to replenish itself. However, this is not the only answer to a successful night of sleep. GABA works complimentary with another naturally occurring chemical.
5-HTP, or 5-Hydroxytryptophan (Again, we’ll stick with the simpler terms), is an amino acid that is derived from tryptophan. 5-HTP works effectively alongside GABA in fighting the causes of sleep disorders.
Studies have shown that, “Using a GABA/5-HTP mixture modulates subjective nighttime activity, sleep episodes, and total duration of subjective nighttime sleep to a greater extent than single administration of each amino acid.”
Making 5-HTP work more efficiently is essential for your body to regulate sleeping patterns. That’s because 5-HTP increases the body’s production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin. What’s so important about the increase in serotonin is that it stimulates the noradrenergic receptors on the brain. These receptors release the last key to a good night’s sleep.
Melatonin may be the most synonymous with sleep-aids. This over-the-counter buzz-word is a hormone naturally secreted by the pineal gland. Melatonin controls your wake cycle, or circadian rhythm.
Your body begins to release melatonin into the system around 9:00 or 10:00. As you lay in bed during the darkness of night, the lack of light triggers your pineal gland to start secreting more melatonin.
The best way to level out melatonin levels in your system is to combine it with 5-HTP and GABA. GABA compliments 5-HTP by allowing your body to relax for rest. From there, 5-HTP converts to serotonin, which will then convert to melatonin. This process does not happen immediately, so supplementing both GABA and 5-HTP with even more melatonin will ensure your body a good night’s rest.
Many over-the-counter sleep meds include man-made ingredients that are habit-forming. Using an all-natural supplement that combines GABA, 5-HTP, and melatonin will help you catch the rest your body truly needs so you can function to your truest potential.