Foods Causing Depressions and Sleeplessness

In Short

When you consume too little fat, cholesterol or sugars, your body ‘punishes’ you with depressions and / or sleeplessness, through receptors in the brain, to force you to consume more of these essential nutrients.

Elevated blood-protein levels impair neurotransmitter metabolism regulating sleep and feelings of happiness. Beta-carbolines from prepared food (proteinacous prepared food in particular), opioid peptides from wheat- and dairy products and cadmium from vegetables and grains do exactly the same.

To be happy and sleep well : Consume as little (especially at night) prepared food, vegetables, grains, milk and wheat-products. (You don't need these at all ;see WaiSays.
Wake up when the sun rises, and eat as much fruits as you want and sufficient fresh raw egg yolk (mixed with avocado) or fresh raw salmon. (raw animal food requires an hour rest to digest by the way!)

Great 'happy fruits' are : dried date, -fig, papaya, banana, strawberries, sweet cherries, orange, mango, pineapple, grapefruit and hazelnuts. (for optimizing serotonine production)

See diet suggestions

In Detail :



Sleep is essential to reconstruct lost body-protein and to decompose and deport wastes from the body. Also, when you are asleep, body-fat is transformed into available energy, to support the processes mentioned above.

If you want to be beautiful and slim, you need lots of sleep


Being happy is much more than just a feeling. Feelings of happiness / depressions tell you whether your diet is okay. And if you don’t sleep well, again you have to take a look at your diet first.

For example :Cholesterol is an essential nutrient ; 10 to 20% of the brain is composed of cholesterol, and vitamin D and the sex hormones are also composed of cholesterol. That's why the body needs sufficient cholesterol all the time. 

And to make sure you consume sufficient 'clean' cholesterol , your body warns you if you don't; through causing depressions and mood-swings. (1) A number of scientific investigations have proved that in people trying to commit suicide, cholesterol-level is lower. (2)


But how does that happen?

Cholesterol-products like progesterone, estradiol and testosterone increase serotonine-receptor activity. (3) Low cholesterol level decreases serotonine-receptor activity. (4)

And feeling happy is partly regulated through serotonine-receptors in the brain. (5) Serotonine is a neurotransmitter not just regulating feelings of happiness, but also the ability to fall asleep, and partly influences cognitive abilities, pain, fear and appetite. (6)

Fibers in wheat (7), potato, maize (8), oat, rice (9), pea and soybean (10) inhibit cholesterol absorption, what can make you depressed and sleepless.

Logically, bad-functioning ovaries (producing progesterone and estradiol) can also cause depressions.

To make sure you absorb sufficient cholesterol, consume some fresh raw egg yolk every day (mixed with avocado for example) ; it will make you sleep like a baby. Be sure the eggs are fresh and obtained from hens fed natural foods only (like raw grains and grass).

You can also consume sashimi. (fresh raw fish in Japanese restaurants)



Does only a low cholesterol level cause depressions and sleeplessness ?


No ;





Sugar for example is as essential as cholesterol is ; sugars are the main source of energy for the brain and muscles; dietary sugars (sucrose, starch, and even most fructose) are mainly transformed into glucose. To assure sufficient sugars are consumed, glucose is essential in composing serotonine, ‘the happy-maker' ;


Serotonine is composed of tryptophan, an amino acid. (protein commonly is composed of 18 different amino acids) When blood-glucose level is low, muscles and organs do not absorb amino acids from the blood for maintenance. And among all those other amino acids, it is much harder for the brain to pick up tryptophan. Glucose stimulates amino acid absorption by the muscles and organs, and therefore tryptophan absorption by the brain. (11) The sweet taste of sugar and honey is the promise of happiness. (and sleep)


Fat is as essential as cholesterol and sugars are ; Fats are the main source of energy for the heart and the colon. To assure sufficient fat is consumed, a particular fatty acid, oleamide, is required to activate serotonine receptors. Making oleamide, and therefore fat, essential to fall a sleep. (12)

If you wake up in the middle of the night for no reason ; consume something both fat and sweet, like raisins with butter. It will probably make you sleep like a baby.



So it's all about cholesterol, fat and sugar ?


Not entirely ;




Too Much Protein

But yes, being grumpy, you first need to make sure your diet contains sufficient clean cholesterol, -fat and sugars. However, consuming too little essential nutrients is not the only cause ;

Consuming too much proteinous food in general, can also cause depressions and sleeplessness. Here are the reasons why ;


-    To transform tryptophan into serotonine, vitamin B6 is required.

     Consuming more protein than you need, requires extra vitamin B6

     (and B2 and folic acid). Consuming too much proteinous food

     inhibits serotonine production.

-    Consuming too much increases blood-amino acid levels, making 

      it harder for the rain to specifically pick up tryptophan.

     The amino acid phenylalanine inhibits serotonine production,

      through inhibiting decarboxylation of 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophane into


-    Consuming too much protein increases blood-phenylalanine level.

     The amino acid phenylalanine inhibits serotonine production,

      through inhibiting decarboxylation of 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophane into


-    Consuming too much protein increases blood-leucine level. The

     amino acid leucine enhances tryptophan-pyrrolase, irreversibly

     decomposing tryptophan. Unfortunately, the liver cannot   

     decompose leucine, tissues like muscles can.

-    Prepared food contains lots of beta-carbolines (13) inhibiting tryptophan transport by albumin. (14) Free tryptophan not transported by albumin does not reach the brain ,and is decomposed. Especially consuming prepared proteinous food can make you depressed and sleepless.

-    Besides methionine (an other amino acid) ,tryptophan is easily damaged by heat. Every time food is re-heated, tryptophan gets lost. 

-    Beta-carbolines from prepared food can occupy serotonine receptors (15), because many beta-carbolines are composed of tryptophan (or its amines ; serotonine and tryptamine) ; the basic properties are equal.

-    Beta-carbolines from prepared food can directly disturb sleep through blocking benzodiazepine receptors. (16)

-   Beta-carbolines from prepared food can also disturb sleep by

    causing stress through the noradrenergic system. (17) 


Consume as much fruit, and sashimi or fresh raw egg yolk (gently stirred through a fruit shake for example), instead of prepared food. And especially do not consume prepared food at night, to prevent prolonged digestion to impair sleep.





Waking up late can make you depressed and sleepless too ;


-    Your body is strongly influenced by daylight ; when the sun has

     set, serotonine is transformed into melatonine. When the sun

     rises, this process stops, if not asleep.

     That's why everybody is much more happy in the summertime,

     providing us with much more daylight. (18) If you are depressed or

     sleepless ; wake up when the sun rises.

     Optimum melatonine production requires optimum serotonine

     production. Logically, also impaired melatonine production comes

     with depressions and sleeplessness. (19)       

     Optimum melatonine metabolism also prevents prolactine,

     oestradiol and EGF from causing breast cancer. (20)



Consuming vegetables and grains can also make you depressed and sleepless ;


-    Even a low intake of cadmium decreases serotonine level. (21) Grains and vegetables in particular can contain high levels of cadmium (from phosphate fertilizers). That's why 'health freaks' consuming lots of vegetables and grains very often are not exactly 'shiny happy people'. What we nowadays consider a normal intake of cadmium, is already 50% of maximally admitted amounts. (22) You're not a cow, nor a pigeon; you don't need any grains or vegetables at all. Fruits and some animal foods combined contains all the nutrients you need. (see site3)



Consuming wheat- and / or dairy products can also make you sleepless and depressed.


-    Endorphins are opioid peptides made by the body. The anesthetic effects of endorphins is required to make you fall asleep. Damaged (due to heat) wheat- and milk-opioid peptides can occupy and destroy endorphin receptors in the brain. 

     Therefore endorphins cannot bind to their receptors, what impairs

     falling asleep.

Endorphin- and serotonine-metabolism are closely related, and opioid peptides can directly inhibit serotonine release. (23) Therefore, besides sleeplessness, opioid peptides can also cause depressions. In chronically depressed people, free endorphin level is 3 fold higher (24) (because part of endorphin receptors have been destroyed)




Long-term hormonal contraceptive use can make you depressed and sleepless too.


-    Hormonal contraceptives act through dominating production and secretion of hormones by the body. It is very possible that after menopause adrenal gland estrogen production does not recover from being diminished through long-term contraceptive use. While estrogen (and other hormones) enhances serotonine-receptor activity. (3)

-    Oral contraceptive use increases cortisol level, increasing transformation of tryptophan into xanthurenic acid, kynurenine and hydroxykynurenine. (25) Therefore less tryptophan can be transformed into serotonine.



Use of antibiotics can cause sleeplessness too. (26)


-    Bacteria in the colon produce factor S, inducing long-wave sleep. (27) Antibiotics kill both bacteria causing diseases and bacteria producing factor S. Antibiotics should only be used in an emergency situation.



Too little vitamin B3 enhances serotonine deficiency.


-    Vitamin B3 deficiency commonly comes with serotonine deficiency, for both substances are composed of tryptophan. If sufficient B3 is available, no tryptophan needs to be transformed into B3, leaving more tryptophan to be transformed into serotonine. Like meat and nuts, raw salmon, -tuna and -mackerel are loaded with B3.

     ‘Happy-‘ and ‘sleepy foods’ improve both serotonine- and vitamin B3 production.





'Happy-' and 'Sleepy-food'

The body actually doesn’t need much tryptophan to compose serotonine. And yet you can consume lots of protein containing lots of tryptophan, with serotonine production remaining far too low. Simply because protein also contains amino acids inhibiting serotonine production, like leucine and phenylalanine in particular. Optimizing serotonine metabolism therefore is not about consuming protein high in tryptophan, but about consuming protein containing relatively more tryptophan than leucine and phenylalanine. Consuming such proteins improves serotonine metabolism, allowing you to feel happy, and sleep well.



Great 'happy-‘ and 'sleepy-foods’ are fruits like dried dates, -figs, papaya, banana, strawberries, sweet cherries, orange, mango, pineapple, grapefruit and hazelnuts, combined with fresh raw egg yolk (because of the cholesterol), alternated with fresh raw salmon (because of the vitamin B3).

Of course the best 'happy-foods' are easy to digest and should be consumed raw.

Mushrooms and potato crisps are best ‘happy’-munch-food (crisps combine well with egg yolk and avocado), but consuming mushrooms can cause cramps.




Why are these foods 'happy-' and 'sleepy-foods' ?


Because these foods are high in tryptophan and low in leucine and phenylalanine. (and contain cholesterol, fats and sugars when combined)

To know what foods can improve your sleep and happiness, you have to look at their SPF. ‘SPF’ = ‘Serotonine-Production Factor’ = tryptophan / (phenylalanine + leucine).

For example : if the SPF of a certain food-protein is 50%, this protein contains exactly as much tryptophan as the average of phenylalanine and leucine, strongly improving serotonine production. All foods with a SPF below 10%, more or less inhibit serotonine production. Whether these low-SPF foods actually do inhibit serotonine production, depends on how much protein they contain.

To enhance serotonine production, you should consume as little low-SPF foods, especially when high in protein. (avocado isn’t) So, consuming corn flakes for breakfast, bread for lunch, and pasta with lobster or horsemeat for dinner, is an extremely bad idea ;


                                     SPF*                Food


                                     95%                  edible boletus

                                     48%                  hemp seed, commercial ***

                                     43%                  date, dried

                                     32%                  papaya **

                                     32%                  chanterelle

                                     29%                  banana

                                     22%                  strawberries

                                     21%                  sweet cherries

                                     17%                  mango **

                                     17%                  cashew nut

                                     16%                  pineapple **

                                     16%                  grapefruit

                                     15%                  fig, dried

                                     14%                  hazelnut

                                     14%                  carrots

                                     13%                  potato crisps

                                     13%                  orange

                                     12%                  guava **

                                     12%                  mushroom

                                     12%                  crawfish

                                     12%                  egg yolk

                                     12%                  apricot **

                                     11%                  oyster mushroom

                                     11%                  wheat whole meal bread

                                     11%                  peach

                                     11%                  tomato

                                     11%                  oriental sesame              

                                     10%                  sunflower seed

                                     10%                  chicken breast

                                     10%                  salmon

                                     10%                  mackerel

                                     10%                  beef, muscles only

                                     10%                  goose

                                     10%                  rolled oats

                                     10%                  green peas, canned

                                     10%                  Brazil nut

                                       9%                  walnut

                                       9%                  peanut

                                       9%                  tuna

                                       9%                  turkey, young

                                       9%                  Soya bean

                                       9%                  crisp bread

                                       9%                  mandarins

                                       9%                  cow’s milk

                                       8%                  apple

                                       8%                  lamb, muscles only

                                       8%                  rice

                                       8%                  white bread

                                       8%                  coconut

                                       8%                  Lamb’s lettuce

                                       8%                  quark, fresh cheese

                                       7%                  lentil

                                       7%                  avocado

                                       7%                  cheddar cheese

                                       7%                  yogurt

                                       6%                  almond

                                       6%                  bread rolls

                                       6%                  oyster

                                       6%                  white beans

                                       6%                  rye bread

                                       5%                  horsemeat

                                       5%                  pasta made with eggs

                                       5%                  lobster

                                       4%                  shredded wheat bread

                                       3%                  sweet corn

                                       3%                  corn flakes



Warning : Besides tryptophan, ‘happy foods’ like papaya, banana and pineapple also contain lots of serotonine, which you cannot utilize as serotonine in the brain. If you are not used to eating much of theses fruits, your body needs time to produce more enzymes decomposing the serotonine from these fruits. So, if you are not used to eating much of these fruits, increase consumption gradually to enable enzyme production keeping up with serotonine consumption. If you don’t, exogenous serotonine is not decomposed sufficiently, and can harden heart-muscles, causing mild heart pains.




* Amino acid contents have been taken from : Souci, S.W. et al, Food Composition 

and Nutrition Tabels, Medpharm Scientific Publishers Stuttgart.

** Amino acid contents have been taken from the USDA Nutrient Database at :

 *** Amino acid contents have been obtained from commercial sites 

selling (THC-free) hemp seeds: 

© 2000-2006 Copyright Artists Cooperative Groove Union U.A.

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Abstracts of most sources can be found at the National Library of Medicine

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