Chia Seeds and Tryptophan

Take regular intake of chia seeds and sleep can improve. Chia seeds contain L-tryptophan which is a natural body clock balancer.  Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the body needs to survive, but does not produce naturally. Its effect on the body is a reflection of how amazing the right kind of food can bring balance to our bodies.

L-tryptophan naturally converts into both serotonin and melatonin, equally balancing our wakefulness and sleepiness. Serotonin levels affect mood and alertness, and melatonin affects sleep. Serotonin is triggered into action by sunlight, and melatonin takes over when night falls.

To balance our body clock, we must have sufficient amount of tryptophan. For many years, natural health scientists have labored to bottle L-tryptophan. These days, tryptophan supplements are being recommended to chronic insomniacs, or to night-shift workers who find they can’t sleep in the daytime. But for the most part, tryptophan manufacturers have met with a lot of frustration, as bottled supplements of the tryptophan have been reported to cause unpleasant side effects such as confusion and ‘fuzzy brain’, nerve pain, stiffness of limbs and joints, fatigue, hair loss, skin disorders and a variety of allegies, and severe muscle pain.

There may be bottled ‘sleep-aid’ supplements being sold in natural health food shops and pharmacies containing tryptophan supplements. It would be to your benefit to do proper research regarding the wisdom of taking manufactured tryptophan. There are foods you can instead eat (and enjoy!) that naturally contain tryptophan which could be a better way of increasing your levels of this amino acid:

oatmeal, chia seeds, turkey breast, fish, pumpkin seeds, tofu,
peanut butter, eggs, cottage cheese, and bananas.


Too little or too much sleep, that is sleeping less or more than 6 to 8 hours on average, is linked to premature death. This was found by a new study that pooled data on more than 1.3 million participants worldwide, by researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK and the Federico II University Medical School in Naples, Italy, and published in the 1 May issue of the journal Sleep.

First author Professor Francesco Cappuccio, who heads the Sleep, Health and Society Programme at the University of Warwick, and colleagues, found that sleeping less than 6 hours a night was linked to a 12 per cent higher chance of premature death compared to sleeping the recommended 6 to 8 hours.

In a press statement, Cappuccio, who is also Consultant Physician at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, suggested that: “Modern society has seen a gradual reduction in the average amount of sleep people take, and this pattern is more common amongst full-time workers, suggesting that it may be due to societal pressures for longer working hours and more shift-work.”

In a similar study, researchers in West Virginia, US have discovered that disrupting the body clock or circadian rhythm could interfere with a normal 24 hour cycle of high and low triglycerides in a way that leaves them at a high level all the time, potentially raising the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

A study in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP suggests that regularly sleeping for less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Results show that eight percent of the study population reported sleeping five hours per day or less including naps, and multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that their risk of any cardiovascular disease was more than two times higher than that of people who reported a daily sleep duration of seven hours.

“Our study findings suggest that abnormal sleep duration adversely affects cardiovascular health,” said principal investigator Anoop Shankar, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Community Medicine at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, W.V. “Sleep disturbances may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease even among apparently healthy subjects.”