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Phosphatidylserine for Joy, Calm, and Sleep. Image shows an outline of a human face amidst the cosmos.

Phosphatidylserine for Sleep, Joy, and Calm

anxiety depression sleep supplements Feb 12, 2021
By Henry Emmons, MD


Phosphatidylserine Benefits*

Phosphatidylserine, or PS (pronounced fos-fah-tie-dul-SEER-een) is what is known as a “phospholipid”—that is, it’s made up of both a fatty acid and an amino acid. Your body makes it from the ingredients in food. It is found in every cell in the body and it has a multitude of important functions. One of its biggest roles is to provide structure and support for brain cell membranes so that they can communicate properly with one another. It provides crucial protection for our neurons as we age, helping to preserve memory. It has also been shown to improve focus, mood and stress-resilience. 

Phosphatidylserine and Sleep

Most of us with intermittent insomnia realize that it is stress-related. When we can’t stop ourselves from reacting to stressful things, the body does what it is designed to do—the adrenals release more cortisol. And when cortisol levels remain elevated through the night, deep sleep is reduced. After all, you really shouldn’t be sleeping deeply if there is an emergency, which your body thinks there is. And with lighter sleep, we awaken more often. Phosphatidylserine has been shown to reduce the body’s cortisol level whether it’s elevated by emotional stress or physiological stress (like vigorous exercise). So, when stress seems to be a reason for not sleeping, PS can be an effective antidote.



Phosphatidylserine Supplements for Sleep at Fullscript, our partner store

Please note: The product links in this blog go to our partner store, Fullscript (with an ongoing 10% discount for you + free shipping on orders over $50). You must have an account to view products and shop. Create your free account at: https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/nmh/signup. Learn more about Fullscript here.

Cerenity PM

The synergistic ingredients in Cerenity PM, including 5-HTP, PharmaGABA®, and taurine, boost levels of the neurotransmitters and hormones that promote relaxation prior to bedtime and increase the deep, restorative stages of sleep.*


Phosphatidylserine, Anxiety, and Depression

Phosphatidylserine is best known as a brain-supporting nutrient used to improve mental acuity and preserve memory as we age, when we become less able to produce it on our own.[1] It has also been shown to improve depression, even the treatment-resistant type, when combined with the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (the kind found in our OmegaVail Hi-Po supplement).[2] There is also evidence that it may blunt the effects of chronic stress and reduce anxiety.[3]*

Phosphatidylserine Dosage and Use*

The typical dose range for phosphatidylserine is 100-300 mg daily. Look for a product from plant-based sources, like soy or sunflower lecithin. It may be taken 2-3 times daily, with or without meals. If used for sleep, you can take the full dose at bedtime. 

Of course, it's important to talk with you doctor before adding any supplement.

Phosphatidylserine Side Effects & Interactions*

A naturally-occurring substance, your body is familiar with phosphatidylserine and doesn’t react against it. There are no known drug interactions or significant contraindications, though it has been suggested not to combine with blood thinners. It’s always a good idea to let your doctor know when you are adding supplements to medications. I have seen mild drowsiness or, paradoxically, occasional insomnia if taken too close to bedtime. But by and large it is very well-tolerated. 

Phosphatidylserine Supplements for Joy and Calm at Fullscript, our partner store 

Please note: The product links in this blog go to our partner store, Fullscript (with an ongoing 10% discount for you + free shipping on orders over $50). You must have an account to view products and shop. Create your free account at: https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/nmh/signup. Learn more about Fullscript here. 


NuAdapt contains a nootropic and a blend of adaptogenic botanicals and nutrients specifically formulated to counteract the effects of daily stress, improve mental performance, and support healthy energy levels.


*Note: Some of the supplements discussed in this article can cause side effects, but many people tolerate them much better than prescription medications. They are generally considered safe, however, they should not be started without your doctor’s knowledge and supervision. If you are taking medication already, be sure to talk with your doctor before adding any of these items. If you are considering going off medication, remember never to stop your medication suddenly—always consult with your doctor about how to safely taper off any psychiatric medication. See termsThese statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.




Ashwagandha for Anxiousness and Sleep

At Natural Mental Health, we’re most interested in Ashwagandha’s ability to support the body under stress, reduce anxiousness, and help with sleep. It is one of the rare substances that seems to improve mental focus and alertness, while at the same time toning down the stress response and calming anxiousness. It appears to calm the brain when it is overactive, and stimulate it when it is under-active. Not too much, not too little, but helping us to stay in the right mental zone. Who couldn’t use a little help with that? Read more.


  1. Kato-Kataoka, A., Sakai, M., Ebina, R., Nonaka, C., Asano, T., & Miyamori, T. (2010). Soybean-derived phosphatidylserine improves memory function of the elderly Japanese subjects with memory complaints. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition47(3), 246–255. https://doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.10-62
  2.  Komori T. (2015). The Effects of Phosphatidylserine and Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Containing Supplement on Late Life Depression. Mental illness7(1), 5647. https://doi.org/10.4081/mi.2015.5647
  3. Hellhammer J, Hero T, Franz N, Contreras C, Schubert M. Omega-3 fatty acids administered in phosphatidylserine improved certain aspects of high chronic stress in men. Nutr Res. 2012;32(4):241-50. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.03.003.
  4. Hellhammer, J., Fries, E., Buss, C., Engert, V., Tuch, A., Rutenberg, D., & Hellhammer, D. (2004). Effects of soy lecithin phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine complex (PAS) on the endocrine and psychological responses to mental stress. Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)7(2), 119–126. https://doi.org/10.1080/10253890410001728379
  5. Monteleone, P., Maj, M., Beinat, L., Natale, M., & Kemali, D. (1992). Blunting by chronic phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men. European journal of clinical pharmacology42(4), 385–388. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00280123

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program. See our terms for more information.

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