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Insomnia is a common problem that affects millions of Americans. Identifying the source of the problem is vital in successfully treating insomnia. One of the potential causes of insomnia is a melatonin deficiency that can easily be tested for and treated using Melatonin or L-Tryptophan supplements. Melatonin, the primary hormone of the pineal gland, helps to maintain a normal circadian rhythm. In individuals having difficulty with sleep or with altered circadian rhythms, such as occurs in jet lag and night shift work, supplementation with melatonin can help provide the resynchronization of those cycles. Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant and adequate melatonin levels have been reported to be a positive factor in cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and bone health.

The essential amino acid L-tryptophan is a serotonin and melatonin precursor, it enhances their synthesis, supporting emotional well-being and restful sleep. Supplementing with L-tryptophan allows the body to use it where it is needed most as a serotonin or melatonin precursor. A metabolite of L-Tryptophan is 5-HTP, which converts into serotonin (a neurotransmitter that is vital in mood regulation) and melatonin. Melatonin or L-Tryptophan supplementation exerts a sedative-like effect when taken before the onset of ones own melatonin secretion, even low amounts of melatonin can promote sleep. Melatonin is thought to potentiate the effects of GABA, thus resulting in relaxation. Research indicates melatonin exerts sleep-promoting action by decreasing the time to fall asleep, improving the ability to stay asleep, and enhancing the depth of sleep.

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