Over the past few months I've been taking tryptophan for insomnia and restlessness and found that it works really well, and now I can't seem to sleep without it. I've been overly alert my entire life and have always had problems sleeping. My mom said when I was a baby I was more sensitive to noise than all the other babies and have been ever since. At various times in my life I've fallen into depression, then taken anti-depressants which relieved it. I know better now and will never take an anti-depressant again due to the damaging effects they have on the brain, but I do think I may need to take tryptophan for the rest of my life if in fact I do have a genetic tendency to have low serotonin levels.
I've read that women on average have more of a tendency to produce less serotonin than men and thus are more prone to depression and the other problems that it causes, but I'm wondering what percentage of the total population might have this genetic problem. Do you think this might be a problem for a significant number of people, and is there any research to back it up?
5-htp is instrumental for me in keeping my serotonin levels up. I currently think I'll take it (300 mg) forever, but I used to think that about my SSRIs too; for now, though, I notice when I miss even one dose. I'm not sure whether it's a genetic susceptibility or simply that my gut didn't populate correctly due to a lifelong undiagnosed gluten intolerance and resulting irritation. The fact that you're taking it for insomnia is strange to me (if anything, I take my large dose at night so I can have MORE dreams...) but if it works it works.
I used to startle quite easily too, and still do when I'm anxious. It mostly resolved itself when I took up boxing...Maybe it was putting on more muscle, maybe retraining my flinch instincts, masybe it was just concurrent with resolving some longstanding nutrient deficiencies.
p.s. I've had illness that made me supersick but SUPERcheerful at the same time. Always was a mystery until I learned that some digestion dwellers produce tons of serotonin. Maybe what you and I both need is just an influx of the rightwrong bugs...
I've never been convinced that a firm link between serotonin and depression has been established.
I have been paleo for months now and sleep keeps getting worse and worse waking sometimes 6 to 7 times a night and recently having migraine like headaches. I'm starting to wonder if the lack of grain is responsible being a person prone to depression and anxiety.
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