This might be surprising but the supplement I am referring to is NOT melatonin. I rely on the amino acid tryptophan for better sleep.
Tryptophan is commonly found in turkey. Before we start jumping to conclusions, your Thanksgiving turkey is not putting you into a food coma. This is more likely related to the amount of food consumed on this pumpkin pie filled holiday.
Why Tryptophan over Melatonin?
Personally, I’m not a fan of melatonin. When I take melatonin, I often wake up a few hours later when it wears off. It helps me fall asleep, but not stay asleep.
It also leaves me feeling groggy the next day. The point of restful sleep is to feel like you have superpowers the next day and melatonin makes me feel the opposite.
Enter: Tryptophan. I started taking tryptophan as a suggestion by my holistic doctor. When I was chronically ill, I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. My body needed rest to recover and I never felt rested. Tryptophan helped me to sleep better. Less tossing and turning and more shut-eye.
How Does Tryptophan Promote Sleep?
According to Insomnia.net:
“Tryptophan is an amino acid that interacts with those brain chemicals important to sleep and the timing of your biological clock’s sleep-wake cycle. Tryptophan increases serotonin, which also increases melatonin, both neuro-transmitters in your brain’s pineal gland.
These neural “gateways” regulate sleep and mood chemicals that affect sleep and mood balance. When either serotonin or melatonin is disrupted you can suffer insomnia and depression symptoms. Tryptophan supplements provide extra doses of sleep inducing amino acids that reportedly help counter sleep disturbances.”
To break this down here, when certain neurotransmitters are low, you can experience insomnia and depression-related symptoms. Tryptophan can help regulate.
Where Do I Get Tryptophan?
Tryptophan supplements are relatively inexpensive and can be ordered online and found in most health food stores. Always check with your doctor when incorporating new supplements. Even natural supplements can interact with medications and certain conditions.
I just returned from the west coast this week and will be using these to help me readjust to the east coast time zone.
Do you use any natural sleep aids? Comment below with your experience.