Saturday, May 30, 2009

Melatonin (Part 2)

Sorry about the lack of posts on my blog. I have lots of excuses but, as someone pointed out, if you commit to writing a blog, you need to WRITE! So, hopefully I'll be a little more productive in the next coming weeks...

OK, todays topic,
"How can you boost your own natural melatonin production?"

1. Melatonin is naturally found in some foods - oats, sweet corn, rice, ginger, bananas and barley. So a good bedtime snack may be a bowl of porridge, a banana or a banana smoothie.

. Eat foods rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acid from which melatonin is derived (the pineal gland in our brains coverts tryptophan to serotonin and then to melatonin). Both turkey and milk are relatively high in tryptophan but other more abundant food sources include cottage cheese, soy nuts, almonds, peanuts and brewers yeast.

3. A vitamin B-6 supplement may stimulate melatonin production because the body uses B-6 to convert tryptophan into serotonin, the precursor of melatonin.

4. Drink in moderation and not too late at night. Alcohol definitely disrupts sleep and apparently it lowers melatonin levels if consumed early in the evening hours. Yet paradoxically, a late night cap may stimulate melatonin production. Perhaps my grandmothers hot whiskey had a medicinal purpose!

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