Tryptophan is an essential nutrient — essential for life. This is an amino acid, a component of protein, found naturally in all bone, muscle, and tissue. Tryptophan is most concentrated in the brain. There, it is the raw material that is converted into hormones such as melatonin — and the powerful neurotransmitter serotonin.
Tryptophan is a key to our mood chemistry. Here’s the link: this amino acid is required to make serotonin. Serotonin is absolutely essential to maintain stable moods — the feel-good chemistry that gives us a sense of emotional stability and well being.
When people do not have enough serotonin, they tend toward depression, irritability, or anxiety. They are more easily affected by stress and emotional issues, by PMS, and sensitivity to pain. Increasing serotonin levels often restores a sense of emotional balance.
Research has established clearly the pivotal role of serotonin in mood, sleep, and other functions of the nervous system. Thousands of research studies on depression, anxiety, and insomnia have also shown a connection between low serotonin and its precursor tryptophan. We know that millions of people have used tryptophan for these conditions. Tryptophan’s ability to support serotonin levels reliably is what makes this supplement so incredibly important.
Depression and insomnia are now at epidemic levels. Depression currently affects more than 20 million Americans. Seven in 10 say they don’t get enough sleep. This suggests that low levels of serotonin may be very common.
Another of the important uses of tryptophan is its ability to promote natural sleep. We know that serotonin is essential for sleep. When levels of serotonin are low, there can be difficulty falling asleep — and staying asleep. It is the soothing effects of this neurotransmitter that signal the body to relax, allowing deep sleep to occur. A tryptophan supplement can be taken in the evening to gently encourage natural sleep.