People say that there isn’t much that a good night’s sleep won’t cure, and on the face of things, that saying is relatively true. We all obviously need sleep to function as it is how we repair our bodies and recharge our metaphorical batteries for the next day. The problem that many people tend to suffer from however, is actually having a good night’s sleep and getting enough shut-eye each night. Experts recommend around 7 – 9 hours sleep each night for optimal health results, yet some people are lucky to get 6. Studies have found that individuals who regularly get less than 7 hours worth of sleep each night, are generally more likely to have a decreased life expectancy, and are more likely to suffer from reduced immunity and various health conditions, some of which could potentially prove fatal. Of course all of that sounds serious enough, but then when you think about how awful you look, and feel, when you aren’t getting enough sleep, you suddenly realise that perhaps looking for methods of getting more sleep isn’t actually such a bad idea. There are many different ways and techniques of helping to improve your sleep – relaxing before bed, listening to calming music, drinking a warm glass of milk, reading a book, avoiding stimulating programs, switching off electrical items etc. Some people however, need a little extra help and that is where health supplements come into the mix. Here we’ll be taking a look at the top 4 natural amino acids that have been proven to help promote a good night’s sleep, as well as an improved mood in the process.
DLPA is an especially beneficial amino acid for anybody out there who happens to suffer from caffeine cravings and possibly withdrawal symptoms in the process. There are a number of people who regularly consume large quantities of caffeine, more often than not in the form of tea or coffee, and as you probably know, the more caffeine you consume, the more tolerant to the natural stimulant your body becomes, and so you need to consume more and more to get the “caffeine buzz” and stimulating effects that make coffee and tea, as well as energy drinks, so appealing. People who consume vast quantities of caffeine often find themselves struggling to get to sleep each night because of the stimulant effects of the caffeine itself, which can make you feel alert, wide awake, energized, and jittery. How does DLPA come into the mix? Well, DLPA, or DL-Phenylalanine, has been proven to help reduce cravings, including cravings for caffeine. Put simply, if you find yourself constantly craving caffeine but are looking to cut right down to help improve your sleeping pattern, DLPA could prove extremely beneficial indeed. It also helps promote calmness and relaxation, which will also help you to get to sleep, and stay asleep, each night.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which means that our bodies cannot naturally generate it internally, and so we must get it from dietary sources instead. Tryptophan is actually a form of precursor to serotonin, which is a potent neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of calmness, tranquillity, happiness, and relaxation. Studies have found that individuals suffering from a lack of serotonin, such as those with a serotonin deficiency, are much more likely to suffer from stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Tryptophan amino acid supplements however, are ideal as they get to work almost immediately and have been proven to help increase the amount of serotonin our bodies can naturally synthesize. Not only can it help boost serotonin levels, it also speeds up the rate in which the neurotransmitter is produced, meaning you produce more, at a much quicker rate, which really does sound like a win, win scenario.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that is also a precursor to a beneficial compound, though this time it is a precursor to adrenalin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These three compounds are especially beneficial because combined, they play key roles in natural energy production, healthy metabolism and nervous system function, general feelings of happiness and well-being, and thyroid health. All of the above are highly beneficial for many reasons. The main reason why this amino acid has proven so effective at helping to treat insomnia and promote healthy sleep patterns however, is down to the fact that as it helps promote mental clarity, calmness, and relaxation, we don’t spend our nights tossing and turning, worrying about a number of matters, no matter how trivial they may be, and instead close our eyes and get a great night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energized the next morning.
Last up we have Glutamine. Whilst Glutamine is traditionally used for bodybuilding/exercise purposes, a number of studies have also found that Glutamine can be incredibly beneficial for individuals struggling to get to sleep each night. Glutamic acid for example, is naturally derived from Glutamine itself and plays a key role in mental health and brain function. When we find ourselves feeling increasing stressed and anxious, our bodies quickly use up a great deal of glutamine which will then need to quickly be replaced. The best way of replacing glutamine used by our bodies, is to consume it in supplement form. As glutamine helps assist with brain health and function, it has been proven to help us to relax, to think calmer, and to think more rationally so that we don’t spend all night worrying unnecessarily about hypothetical scenarios that have not yet happened. For those of us who get the late night munchies and often crave unhealthy foods when we’re in bed and should be asleep, glutamine also helps reduce cravings for sugar and starchy foods.