I often have trouble sleeping, and I’m certainly not alone.
Research shows about a quarter of Americans suffer from insomnia.
Big Pharma hypes medications such as Ambien and Lunesta to help you sleep. Don’t take them up on the offer.
These drugs, called hypnotics, have been linked to alarming side effects. They include memory impairment, uncontrollable shaking, and dizziness. They can also make you do things in your sleep that you aren’t aware of. This includes making phone calls, eating, and even driving.
Luckily, there’s a natural insomnia solution that I find effective—tryptophan (pronounced TRIP-tuh-fan).
Tryptophan is one of eight essential amino acids. Your body can’t make it, so you have to get it in your diet or from supplements. It produces melatonin…and melatonin regulates sleep.
It’s best known as the compound in turkey known for making people tired after a big Thanksgiving dinner. The truth is, there isn’t enough tryptophan in turkey to make you sleepy.
But tryptophan supplements have a strong clinical track record…
A study published in The Lancet looked at insomnia patients. Researchers gave them tryptophan supplements before bedtime. The patients got 28% more sleep.
Research published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease recruited 15 insomnia patients. Scientists gave them 250 mg of tryptophan. The patients had more stage 4 sleep. This is the deep, restorative sleep we need to feel refreshed the next day.
And a study in the European Bulletin of Respiratory Pathophysiology found that tryptophan reduced the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
Other beneficial effects of tryptophan include:
• Decreased appetite. A study from Britain’s University of Leeds looked at rats who were kept from eating for 24 hours. Half were given tryptophan. Half were not. The tryptophan group ate less when given food. And they waited longer before eating again.
A study published in the journal Nutrition Research gave male volunteers either tryptophan or a placebo. The tryptophan subjects consumed 20% fewer calories. They also ate a healthier ratio of proteins to carbohydrates.
• Depression relief. Research published in Archives of Psychiatric Nursing looked at 25 young adults. Researchers randomly assigned some of the subjects high-tryptophan diets. Compared to those on a normal diet, they had better moods, and decreased depression and anxiety.
• Improved exercise performance. Research done at Spain’s University of Barcelona focused on 12 male athletes. Scientists put the men through two bouts of demanding exercise. The subjects took a tryptophan supplement before one and a placebo before the other. After taking the supplement, their total exercise time was 49% greater. The tryptophan made exertion feel easier.
Tryptophan supplements are widely available online and in health food stores.
Most people don’t have side effects. The most common ones include occasional constipation and nausea. Lowering the dosage usually prevents them.
Tryptophan can interact with antidepressants. Talk to your doctor before taking tryptophan if you are on an antidepressant drug. Also avoid taking it if you have liver or kidney disease.
If you struggle with insomnia, tryptophan is a better option than the dangerous drugs sold by Big Pharma. It’s a natural remedy that can improve your sleep and your overall health.
To your peak health,
Nicole Hansen Director of Research & Development New Summit Nutritionals