It happens every Thanksgiving: I stuff my face, and just as I’m getting settled in on the couch for some football, the drowsiness sets in — all I want is a nap. Most people blame the tryptophan in the turkey, a known sleep-inducing amino acid, but while the tryptophan does play a part in the post-meal sleepiness, the bigger culprit is the carbs.
An essential amino acid — meaning that the body needs it to function but does not produce it — tryptophan or L-tryptophan is found in a variety of foods. In fact, cheese, red meat, lentils, soy, and eggs all have a larger concentration of tryptophan than turkey.
Helps Support Relaxation, Restful Sleep, and Positive Mood
A colleague recommended the L-Tryptophan when I was having trouble falling asleep while working on a stressful project. I chose the Source Naturals brand for its Non-GMO validation, and the fact that it is hypoallergenic, containing no gluten, yeast, eggs, dairy, soy, sugar, starch, artificial colors, flavors, or fragrances.
- L-Tryptophan — This amino acid plays a part in the synthesis of both melatonin and serotonin hormones involved with mood and stress response and sleep/wake cycles.
- Iron — A naturally occurring mineral in tryptophan, iron is responsible for a number of functions in the body and helps prevent anemia.
In addition to the above main ingredients, this supplement contains magnesium stearate and calcium phosphate, both known to aid sleep.
I followed the instructions on the bottle and took 3 capsules before bed. I usually have trouble shutting off my brain when my head hits the pillow, and I feel like the L-Tryptophan helped me relax and fall asleep quicker than I normally would. I did wake up a couple of times during the night, but fell right back asleep and woke up 8 hours later, feeling well-rested and alert.
- Very gentle
- No grogginess or fogginess in the morning
- Helped me shut off my brain
- Three pills can become a lot, if you are taking them nightly.
The Final Word
Natural and gentle, Source Naturals L-Tryptophan will definitely stay in my sleep supplement rotation. The bottle also suggests taking 1 capsule three times daily between meals as a mood enhancer. I have not tried that yet, but will report back when I do. I will also experiment stacking the L-Tryptophan with another single-ingredient supplement, like melatonin, for a more uninterrupted sleep.