L-Tryptophan, Sleep, and Performance.
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Planning for adequate rest and predicting the consequences of inadequate sleep or cumulative sleep loss should be an important consideration in mission logistics. The use of a sleeping aid may be appropriate to permit personnel to maximize sleep effectiveness in operational environments. At NHRC, we have investigated the amino acid l-tryptophan as a non sedating sleeping aid for military use. Attention focused on l-tryptophan because of its role as the dietary precursor of serotonin. the neurotransmitter first identified by Jouvet as involved in the regulation of sleep. Recent reviews continue to debate the effectiveness of 1-tryptophan as a sleeping aid and the underlying mechanism for its effects. Keywords Tryptophan, Performance, Reaction time, Sleep, Memory, Insomnia, Humans, Jet Lag, Arousal, Threshold.