We don’t fully understand why we need sleep, but we sure know the effects on the body if we don’t get enough of it each day. Extended periods of sleep deprivation can cause some serious health issues that most insomniacs would be well aware of.
Sleep disorders are also closely linked to depression, anxiety, stress, and migraines. So it seems that cognitive issues are at least in part to blame for a chronic lack of sleep. Could you then adjust the levels of serotonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for happiness) to improve the quality of your sleep?
Turns out you can, but you don’t need serotonin for it. You need 5 HTP, a common precursor to the neurotransmitter. The chemical is a byproduct of some proteins found naturally in African plants such as Griffonia simplicifolia. It’s been used to treat everything from Parkinson’s disease to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).