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The Relationship Between Serotonin and Melatonin in Creating a Balanced Mood and Healthy Sleep

Ah, 2020. The year we’ll never forget. With so many worries and disruptions to our day-to-day lives, it’s no wonder anxiety and sleeplessness have reached a peak for many people—perhaps even you. Our bodies and minds are sensitive things easily affected by our environments and experiences. We’re also strong and resilient. With the right care and support, we all have the innate ability to face these unprecedented challenges—to feel a sense of calm and get the sleep we need to be our best. But how?


Whole-self wellness begins with the realization that the body is a complex organism with many intricately connected systems that rely on each other for balance. “The holistic approach to health is to consider how all the different systems in our bodies are interconnected and work in tandem with one another,” says Robyn Caywood, chief science officer and lead formulator at KAMU. 


Of all the systems in our body—respiratory, endocrine, circulatory and more—you can think of the nervous system as the central command. It detects changes that affect our bodies then works with the other systems to respond. Via neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, the nervous system relays signals to and from all parts of the body like a communication network. 


Over 60 neurotransmitters have been identified in the human body so far—gaba, dopamine, serotonin and melatonin, to name a few. In order for the nervous system—and the body—to function optimally, these neurotransmitters must be in proper balance. Since serotonin and melatonin play a huge role in mental well-being and sleep, making sure these chemicals are balanced and sufficient is super important in realizing your best health.  


Serotonin regulates mood, melatonin regulates sleep. However, like most aspects of the body, these processes are interconnected. Serotonin is produced by the pineal gland then converted to melatonin in the brain. But without healthy sleep, our bodies struggle to produce serotonin, which in turn, leads to a deficiency of melatonin—making it even harder to get that important, restorative rest. It’s a cycle that many of us find ourselves in today.


This is why taking melatonin alone doesn’t work as a long-term solution for sleeplessness. “We have to overcome this idea of a silver-bullet that will fix an ailment with a single dose,” says Caywood. “A supplement should be an ally on your wellness journey, not a bandaid.”  


The best solution? Give the body what it needs to address the root of the problem on its own. At KAMU, we call this the “holistic approach”—supporting the body so it can support itself.  


“We look at how our formulas interact to create well-rounded, whole-body support,” says Caywood. The ingredients in KAMU Uplift and KAMU Dream were formulated as the perfect AM/PM duo to not only work well together, but to boost each other's powers in helping the body achieve mental well-being while also promoting healthy sleep.  


KAMU Uplift 


We formulated Uplift to encourage a calm, peaceful mood and help foster emotional resilience in the face of stress and uncertainty. It contains L-theanine, an amino acid derived from green tea leaves, and saffron, which has been used for over 3,500 years in traditional medicine to support mental health. Both have been shown to boost serotonin levels. 


B12 helps your body to synthesize and use that serotonin. “Having adequate B vitamins—such as B12, B6 and folic acid—is important in helping your body produce serotonin which in turn is converted to melatonin to help you sleep,” says Greg Weisswasser, a naturopathic doctor at Whitewater Naturopath in Grass Valley, California. 


“Vitamin B12 is available in multiple forms,” says Caywood. “KAMU uses methylcobalamin in Uplift because it's highly bioavailable, meaning your body can easily absorb it and put it to use.”  


Another important ingredient in Uplift is lion’s mane mushroom. Pre-clinical studies show that lion’s mane contains bioactive compounds that alleviate symptoms of anxiety and reduce brain inflammation caused by stress, lack of sleep, poor diet or hormonal imbalances. Inflammation in the brain can cause the synapses to fire incorrectly, so that even if your body is producing adequate and balanced amounts of serotonin and melatonin, you may still suffer from anxiety or sleeplessness. 


CBD and CBG, other key ingredients in Uplift, are also useful for addressing inflammation and support the nervous system to create homeostasis, or balance, within the body’s systems.


KAMU Dream


Dream is our #1 best-selling product—and for good reason. These nightly sleep drops help promote peaceful, restorative rest so you can greet the day feeling renewed. They’re the perfect PM pairing for Uplift, which helps fully optimize your body to take in every benefit of Dream.


Dream contains 5-Hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, an amino acid used by the body to produce serotonin. “Serotonin and melatonin are both produced in the body using the same biochemical pathway,” says Dr. Weisswasser. “5-HTP is converted to serotonin which is methylated into melatonin in the pineal gland.” 


By providing 5-HTP, Dream supports your body to create serotonin and melatonin naturally for a balanced mood and healthy sleep. This is a cumulative, long-term effect when taken regularly.  

But Dream also contains an appropriate dose of melatonin for fast-acting effects. 


KAMU uses microbial melatonin, or melatonin that’s grown through bacteria. Compared to the synthetic melatonin widely used in other sleep products, microbial melatonin more closely mimics the melatonin created by our own bodies, making it easier to utilize. “Unlike animal-sourced or synthetic melatonin created in a lab, our melatonin is vegan, alive and energetically charged, making it easier for your body to use,” says Caywood.  


Like with any supplement, you should always stick to the dosing guidelines. “With melatonin, it’s important to remember that, oftentimes, less is more,” says Caywood. “Some people have a tendency to take too much melatonin in an effort to force sleep, which can lead to grogginess in the morning. The idea is to support and encourage your body to create its own melatonin naturally—overdosing on a melatonin supplement won’t help with that.”  




Many factors contribute to achieving mental well-being and peaceful, restorative sleep—both of which are at the top of many people’s health priorities these days. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising, managing stress and other strategies combine to create vibrant health. And supplements like Uplift and Dream that support your body to support itself can provide great benefits in your journey to wellness. 


“If you have a recurring issue, there typically isn’t one single thing to take or do that will correct the underlying imbalance,” says Caywood. “The body is a complex organism with many systems working together, so it’s usually a matter of addressing several issues at a time.” 


Our top takeaway: Instead of reaching for a silver-bullet fix aimed at a single issue, treat your body like the multifaceted web of interconnected systems that it is. With the right support, your body has the innate resources to correct imbalances and heal itself—so you can think and feel your best, even in these trying times.  

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