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Serotonin is the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) which enables sleep. Melatonin triggers it. Most people who have sufficient serotonin but can't sleep for a lack of Melatonin, do not in fact lack Melatonin , they simply release it at the wrong time. Consistant sleep time habit patterns will often solve this problem.
If the problem is a genuine lack of serotonin, the precursors (nutritional “raw materials” needed by the brain to manufacture adequate serotonin) must be supplemented. The raw material for serotonin is l-tryptophan, an essential amino acid. In such cases, doctors often prescribe pharmaceutical grade l-tryptophan. A much less expensive approach is to eat ham, turkey, or most fat containing diary products.(Think about what happens after Thanks Giving Dinner.) As these foods are highly caloric and high in cholesterol producing agents, one usually wishes to minimize the intake of such foods. To do this an adult needs to take 50 mg of calcium and 25 mg of magnesium three times a day and then, only small amounts of tryptophan containing foods..
The serotonin shortage may have another cause. If a person's GABA or Opioid levels are low the release of serotonin may be modulated down. This cause of a lack of available serotonin has the same effect as a lack of available l-tryptophan. Thus, the most prudent solution is to supplement with the precursors for all three. To do so, one needs l-glutamin, d/l-phenylalanine, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin M (Folic acid), and trace chromium. All of these can be obtained at nearly any health food store and most pharmacies.
Another frequent cause of a lack of sleep is minor aches and pains. These might be caused, for instance, by unusual exercise, severe psychological stress, minor accidents, etc. In such cases, either aspirin or acetominephen (e.g. Tylenol) combined with d/l-phenylalanine has been described as being an excellent analgesic (pain reducer.)
You may find purchasing all of the above (except the aspirin or ascidaphenamin) in one capsule a more convenient and less expensive solution. beCALM'd is such a product.