Sleep is not a one ingredient solution: 4 essentials necessary for a good night’s sleep

These 4 ingredients go beyond the type of mattress you have and the thread count of your sheets.

Sleep is not a one ingredient solution: 4 essentials necessary for a good night’s sleep

These 4 ingredients go beyond the type of mattress you have and the thread count of your sheets.
  • With the high rate of Americans experiencing sleep-related problems, it is no wonder everyone is searching for a better night's rest. But have you ever wondered what actually is needed for the perfect night's sleep? The answer lies within our own bodies; more specifically, four neurotransmitters.

  • Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest

  • Our bodies contain many different neurotransmitters but these four specifically are critical in achieving optimal sleep. Here is some information about them and how you can make sure that they are at full capacity the next time you hit the hay.

  • 1. Melatonin

  • I'm sure many of us have heard of this one, as it is a popular 'natural' sleep ingredient on the market. Melatonin is critical during the first part of the night as it helps us initially fall asleep.

  • Biologically, sleep onset is triggered by the release of melatonin from the pineal gland. During the day, the pineal gland produces serotonin but around sunset, it changes gears and starts producing melatonin. This process continues through the night until about 2 or 3 AM, when the pineal gland switches back and starts producing serotonin.

  • Many people try to supplement melatonin themselves because humans reach peak production around the age of 18 and then suffer a slow and steady decline throughout the rest of our lives. However, proper dosage is important when supplementing and should be limited to only 300-500 mcgs, as recommended by the FDA.

  • Most over the counter sleep medications have way too much melatonin in them, up to 10 mg (20X the recommended dosage), but there are some sleep aids that have the perfect amount, and those are the ones that should be used.

  • 2. Serotonin

  • The second neurotransmitter that our bodies need for optional sleep is serotonin. Serotonin acts to regulate transmitting impulses between nerve cells, regulate cyclic body processes, and contributes to well-being and happiness. It also assists with waking the body up in the morning and is the reason why the pineal gland ceases melatonin production and begins serotonin production a few hours before we awake.

  • Advertisement
  • If you are looking to feel good when you wake in the morning, consider a sleep aid that contains 5-HTP and Vitamin C. These two ingredients convert into serotonin over the course of the night so you receive an extra boost in the morning when your body needs it. As a result, you will feel well rested and ready to go in the morning.

  • 3. Acetylcholine

  • Acetylcholine is the third neurotransmitter needed for sleep. Acetylcholine is primarily used during REM sleep and elevated levels have been shown to help balance out the amount of time spent in both REM and non-REM sleep. This is an important factor because different functions are performed internally during these different periods of sleep.

  • For instance, during REM sleep, we process and store all the pertinent information accumulated throughout the previous day, while during non-REM sleep, we perform more restorative functions and tune up the body for the upcoming day.

  • Acetylcholine is produced in our bodies by combining choline and a Vitamin B complex so keep that in mind when considering a sleep aid. Having just the right amount of each will put you on the path to a more balanced sleep.

  • 4. GABA

  • Lastly, our fourth sleep neurotransmitter is gamma amino butyric acid. GABA for short, this neurotransmitter helps control the nervous system. Increased GABA levels produce a relaxing effect on the entire body and are crucial to allowing the body to remain in a relaxed state throughout the night. Although you may have never heard of this one, it is essential for that perfect night's sleep you are longing for.

  • Some sleep aids use L-Theanine in their formulation to increase GABA levels since it is involved in its production. L-Theanine also has been shown to directly stimulate the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation similar to what is achieved through meditation.

  • The neurotransmitters Melatonin, Serotonin, Acetylcholine, and GABA are essential to achieving a great night's sleep. Unfortunately, most Americans have suboptimal neurotransmitter levels across the board, including these four. These lower levels are due to numerous factors including diet, stress, and lifestyle.

  • Advertisement
  • There are sleep medications that can help increase one or two of these neurotransmitters but there is one product that has been designed to replenish all four naturally.

  • Using 19 active ingredients,Sleep Squares provides the body with all the building blocks needed to metabolize these four fundamental sleep neurotransmitters naturally and deliver much needed sleep assistance. Not only is it extremely effective, but Sleep Squares also comes in a delicious chocolatey square that is perfect for a bedtime treat. Click undefined to learn more, including how to get 14 nights free.

Tamsyn Valentine is part of the content team at She graduated with a degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations and journalism.

Tell us your opinion

Have More Meaningful Conversations With Your Kids.

We’ll send the low-down on the hot topics your kids are talking about to your inbox every morning so you’re ready to talk with them.


Enter a valid email address (e.g. [email protected])

Thanks for subscribing to our email list. Please enjoy our latest articles.