Tryptophan: Aids sleep

By | April 29, 2008

Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps to bring about sleep. Getting enough sleep is very important if you want to maintain adequate production of growth hormone in your body. The problem is that high levels of stress can disrupt sleep from forming, and daily modern living exerts a high amount of stress on our entire being as it is.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid without which our bodies cannot survive for long, as it cannot be manufactured by the body. Tryptophan is present in a lot of foods, contrary to popular belief that it is mainly found in milk. All protein rich foods contain tryptophan, albeit at varying degrees.

What does tryptophan do?

Tryptophan raises HGH levels indirectly, when it gets converted to a type of neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin has been found to raise growth hormone levels in some experiments done on lab animals, and it can be inferred that serotonin will also do the same for humans.

So far in humans, serotonin is better known in medical science for its role in modulating mood, sleep, body temperature, and sexuality.

Tryptophan makes you feel sleepy, which is a good thing when you want to sleep. It lessens feelings of anxiety and depression, and affects the release of the sleep hormone, melatonin, which is also another HGH booster. As we know, the main release time of HGH is during sleep and exercise, so it’s important to maintain good sleep health.

Tryptophan is a prescription drug, because of its drowse inducing effect, so make sure if you have a prescription of it, to ONLY take it at bedtime, and under a doctors supervision. Usual dosages range from 500 mg to 6 g per day.

Food sources of tryptophan

Luckily, tryptophan is also found in abundance in many food sources as stated above. If you get your intake from natural foods, there is no practically no way you can suffer from any side effects from overdosage.

beef red meat

Foods that contain tryptophan in good amounts include:

  • Soy
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Meat (especially turkey meat)
  • Brewers yeast
  • Bananas