I have an interesting relationship with the amino acid L-Tryptophan. It (and a few other restorative nutrients) helped save me frominsomnia and a world of elevated coritsol levels, adrenal fatigue, and other really crappy problems that arise when you don’t sleep. It began a new period of my research into performance supplementation.
So I give Tryptophan credit for more than just a good night’s sleep.
Supplementation should address deficiencies first, not extra of anything. Example: zinc and magnesium are more important than whey protein or beta-alanine. DHA and Vitamin D are far more important than creatine or carnitine.
I continually find myself reading articles on brain and CNS health. I spend a lot of time looking at stressors, elevated coritsol, and how to reduce them both. Our modern foods have less and less of the nutrients we need. Tryptophan is one of the those nutrients. The positive effects of Tryptophan on sleep are widely known. But in the chain of positive health, Tryptophan may be a much stronger and important link than thought. Our neglect to address deficiencies first may be of more detriment than we want to admit.
Check out this article on anxiety. Listed at the bottom are many of the nutrients I recommend for overall health. Remember, the health and wellness I seek begins with the brain.
An excellent diet addresses brain health and function first. Supplementation should also follow suit. If your control center isn’t working properly, fairly you can assume your athleticism, recovery, performance, cognition, and daily productively are not at optimum levels.
These days every other person I know is one some type of SSRI, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, or other brain function inhibiting drug (yes, the drugs inhibit natural brain functions). All these drugs mimic some natural compound found in nature. Is it possible… even slightly possible, to fix many of the disorders and diseases we’ve become to conditioned to take powerful and addictive medications for? I’m not saying come off your meds and disregard your MD’s advice. But I am saying it may be worth the effort to seek knowledge and possibly find an alternative to medications.
Example: You took a promotion or new job. While trying to learn the new job, your work load has also increased two fold. One of your kids just started kindergarten and the other has soccer practice three days a week and a game every Saturday and some Sundays. Your husband or wife is deployed or away on business and you are struggling to keep up. You go to bed late but cannot fall asleep because you’re worried about not completing all your work, you didn’t iron your shirt for tomorrow, the kids’ lunches are not packed, and you know there’s no way in h*ll you’ll get caught up tomorrow. You’re starting to feel like crap… sick, even. A visit to your MD seems logical at this point. And heck, your friend Sally’s doctor gave her something to “help her sleep,” maybe your MD will give you something. You’ll only take it for a little while, just until things get better, right?
Sound familiar? Before you consider going down the ugly road of prescription meds for sleep, anxiety, or depression, take a look at your diet and consider the supplementation to correct your deficient nutrients first.
Consider talking to someone who has his/her life together. Not “Sally”… you know as well as I do she’s a fruitloop! Talk to someone who you know is healthy and on top of things. Maybe they can help you address the cause of the problem and not just put a band aid on an arterial bleed.