My best friend died at the end of July; mental illness took his life. Most would describe his death by suicide after an 8-month struggle with what is termed as "treatment resistant depression." What was ultimately made clear was something significant in his brain was affecting his moods, function, and sleep.
His name was Tripp. Tripp and I were housemates for four years before he got married. We were groomsmen in each other’s weddings. He was a wonderful father and husband. And he was one of my most faithful friends. Despite living three hours away and having his own family, he came to Charlottesville frequently on weekends to help in the months before my wife, Mara, died in 2017.
He was a youth pastor and had a deep, vibrant faith in Jesus. And he was amazingly fun and funny. Tripp was full of life and had an uncanny gift of being able to freestyle rap on the spot to any subject picked out.
But in November of last year, Tripp stopped sleeping. Some nights there would be no sleep. Other nights, he would only get an hour or two. Even as I’m writing this, my mind goes back to the movie Zero Dark Thirty which illustrated well how sleep deprivation was used in torturing Al-Qaeda terrorists.
It is unclear what caused Tripp's insomnia and overall decline in mental health. But research makes clear that insomnia is linked to decreased brain function, and mental illness is linked to decreased sleep. And Tripp's mental decline was accompanied by pain and unfounded shame.
Tripp’s death along with September being National Suicide Prevention Month has led to an early release of our sleep and mood formula called SleepElite. We are offering it ahead of having the clinical data we’d like to back its efficacy because the feedback that we’ve received from test participants has been so good. This is mostly qualitative feedback and some quantitative feedback showing and improvement in deep sleep.
So, what is SleepElite and how can it help with sleep and mood issues?
The SleepElite formula has a combination of natural ingredients that can promote brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and increase serotonin and dopamine. It also has a methylated form of vitamin B6 and a methyl group donor to help facilitate the methylation of other B vitamins that people with mood issues are deficient in.
Sulforaphane is the good chemical that comes from broccoli. It helps promote brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and decreases neuroinflammation. BDNF is really at the heart of brain health because it preserves existing neurons and helps generate new neurons. BDNF also mediates how our brains shape and grow (neuroplasticity) as we process memory during sleep. Other research proposes that increased expression of BDNF in the brain and blood can alter one’s susceptibility to mood and sleep issues.
Tryptophan and 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) are both precursors to serotonin. L-tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP by the enzyme Tryptophan 5-hydroxylase. 5-HTP is then converted into serotonin by the enzyme Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase.
Conversation of L-tryptophan into 5-HTP is the rate limiting step of serotonin production. Serotonin levels have been implicated in the regulation of sleep, depression, anxiety. Serotonin is also a precursor in the production of melatonin.
Berberine influences sleep and mood by also stimulating the BDNF production in the hippocampus. Research has shown berberine significantly increases both serotonin (53%) and dopamine (31%) production. Dopamine is the “feel good” chemical that causes people to be addicted to anything from gambling to extreme sports. Here we talk about a study where berberine alone outperforms valium as a sleep aid.
Ashwagandha has two different chemicals that impact sleep: withanolides, which are extracted with ethanol and triethylene glycol, which is extracted with water. SleepElite has the water extract version of Ashwagandha which is shown to promote sleep induction and REM sleep. This is significant because the most common sleep complaint for people with insomnia is having difficulty falling asleep.
B Vitamins & Methylation. Many people with mood issues are deficient in B vitamins. This is in part due to their inability to process the B vitamins into a usable form. Methyltransferases are groups of enzymes responsible for adding and removing methyl groups from molecules. These enzymes act similarly to light switches by turning on or activating molecules by adding a methyl group and turning them off them by removing it. People with depression are more deficient in their methylated B vitamins due to being low in this enzyme (called MTHFR) that adds the methyl group. Sulforaphane, mentioned above, indirectly increases the MTHFR enzyme by decreasing inflammation.
SleepElite includes the methylated version of Vitamin B6 which is called P-5-P or pyridoxal-5-phosphate in order to bypass the whole methylation process. SleepElite also includes trimethyl glycine (TMG) which is used to donate methyl groups. Providing excess free methyl groups helps to drive the enzymatic reaction to methylate other B vitamins like vitamin B12 and folate (B9).
No Filler. Ever. Unlike other sleep supplements you’ll find out there, SleepElite has only the ingredients listed above. One of the more popular sleep supplements is comprised of 85% other filling agents like rice protein powder. This competitor supplement that I won’t name, has only 250 mg of ingredients, yet has 612 mg of powder inside the capsules as seen in the images below. That means over half of the capsule – 59% – is filler. When you are shopping for supplements, be careful!
So, if you are looking for something to help improve your sleep and mood, and you do not want to take melatonin directly, give SleepElite a try. As with all of our supplements, we have a money back guarantee. We know that SleepElite works, but also know that everyone is different and so it may not work for you. If that’s the case, we’ll give you your money back, no questions asked, on your first bottle within 60 days. If you ordered multiple bottles, you can receive a refund on those bottles as well by following the steps outlined here.