T Nation

Sleep and Neurotransmitters

Since some of you have posted that you have sleep difficulties, I thought I would inform you of a lab test I had done that measures neurotransmitters and can help pinpoint what might be the cause of your problem. This could help you to determine what supplements to use.

In any case, the test I took was the Sleep Difficulties profile, which is done by Neuroscience Inc. There website is:

You collect urine and saliva at the time of night that you have difficulty sleeping. In my case, I fall asleep ok. On the night I decided to do the test, I woke up around 2 AM and collected saliva and urine at that time. The following morning I shipped these off to NeuroScience. If you are having trouble falling asleep, then that is when you would collect the samples. Obviously the night that you decide to do the test you should abstain from any sleep medications/supplements that you normally take.

The Sleep Difficulty test measures cortisol, melatonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, seratonin, gaba, glutamate, PEA, histamine, creatinine. They have a brief description (including pathways) of these and other neurotransmitters here:

As it turns out my melatonin is actually fairly high (which is good), but my PEA is very high (good during the day but not good at night when you are trying to sleep), my cortisol is high (not good), seratonin is low (not good),norepinephrine and epinephrine are hight (not good for sleep). These are all quantified, but I didn’t want to bore you with that.

Neuroscience recommends a list of supplements for you based upon your results. You are free to buy from them or purchase on your own.

The one downside is that you have to get the test through your health care provider (any licensed health care provider will do…doesnt have to be an M.D.). If your interested, go to their website above and they have a form you can fillout and they can find a health care practitioner in your area or they have a form for your physician to fill out.

Let’s see. The cost was $180, which will be worth it if it turns out to be helpful. I only got my results today and will start taking the supplements tonight. My MD said it would probably take around 3 weeks to start seeing results.

One thing I tried was GABA. Now I took it last night and actually slept much worse than usual. I wonder why that is. I could write it off as a fluke but this happened to me once before when I tried GABA. Mind you, I combined it with my usual 30 mgs of amitrypyline (elavil).

I wonder if it’s one of those situations where I need to take it for a while before it becomes effective.

Anybody got ideas on the above?

Kinda interesting.

I have to say, Z12 has been really great for our quality of sleep and mood elevation. We ran out and can’t wait for our new shipment to arrive.

So what supps did they recommend, and for what neurotransmitters?

The neuroscience products work well! I have used t hem for a while, not for sleep but the others for mood balancing. I use Excitaplus and have used Excitacor. Awesome stuff!

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[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Very interesting. I shall have to remember this for when I am earnig and can afford the test.

Although I would prefer a series of tests taken at different times of the day to get a more comprehensive picture of what my body is doing.
Bushy[/quote]

Bushy, they offer tests collected over the course of the day. Mine was specifically for sleep, so only took it at the time of sleep difficulty.

[quote]andersons wrote:

So what supps did they recommend, and for what neurotransmitters?
[/quote]

Well, I only know what they recommended for my particular neurotransmitter profile. To raise serotonin, etc. they recommended their product Travacor which includes 5 HTP to support serotonin, taurine to enhance GABA receptor activity, and theanine to block glutamate activity.

Also Calm RT which contains rhodiola rosea, Phosphatidyl serine and glycine. I am not sure how the rhodiola works, but the phos serine and glycine are definitely to lower cortisol

The above two are to be taken an hour before bed. Then there is a supplement for the morning Adrecor to support adrenal function. It contains amino acids N-acetly tyrosine, l-methionine, l-histidine, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from Green Tea leaves, and Rhodiola rosea.

Now, of the above three products, I only purchased there Adrecor product. I am making my own concoctions using the ingredients for the pre-sleep formula. All adaptogens, like Rhodiola, wake me up, so I did not want that in their CALM RT. I have ordered Phosphatidyl serine and am using glycine. I am also using L-Tryptophan and theanine but I haven’t added taurine yet, since I know that GABA (to which taurine is a precursor) actually keeps me up.