Having trouble sleeping? Try a handful of goji berries 30-45 minutes before bed. Goji berries are natures highest source of natural melatonin, providing 15 mcg/oz. Raspberries, which contain 3.8 mcg/oz, are a distant second. It is important to note that melatonin, unlike its precursor serotonin, is able to pass the blood brain barrier when ingested.
Melatonin is a hormone that is synthesized and secreted in the pineal gland in the brain that helps regulate our circadian rhythm. Sleeping in complete darkness at night is important in order to stimulate the conversion of serotonin to melatonin in the brain. That's why having night lights on or playing on your phone/computer late at night before bed can interfere with this process.
Our bodies own ability to synthesize melatonin starts in our gut. Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that we must acquire from protein in our diets, is absorbed through the small intestines and converted into 5-HTP. If you have weak digestive enzymes, low acid in the stomach (proton pump inhibitors?), inadequate nutrition, or poor absorption in the gut (or leaky gut), this can compromise your bodies ability to make 5-HTP in the first place. 5-HTP is later converted into serotonin which is later converted to melatonin. Case in point, if you are having chronic issues sleeping at night, it could be a gut based issue. Goji berries are not the cure all for sleep disorders. They are simply a natural sleep enhancement for those that need the extra nudge.