Jan 252013

When I was younger, I noticed that some of my older relatives did not sleep as much as the younger folk. After I turned 50, I too started to sleep fewer hours at night. As it turns out, this is not an uncommon problem with seniors.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, older people tend to have a more difficult time falling and staying asleep than younger people. In some cases, this problem can lead to sleep deprivation. And sleep deprivation can lead to other health problems like

  • cardiovascular disease
  • headaches
  • memory loss
  • and depression.

Like most, I tried all types of concoctions to have a better night’s sleep. None really worked all that well. Melatonin did make me drowsy enough to fall asleep, but I still woke up in the middle of the night unable to get a full night’s rest. It is also a bad idea to overdose with melatonin. Some side effects of melatonin are daytime sleepiness, dizziness and headaches.

Then I heard on the Dr. Oz Show that the amino acid glycine helps careate positive changes in the brain wave patterns that are associated with deep non-REM sleep. It promotes a deeper and faster sleep without causing the foggy morning hangover feeling associated with most drugs and some other natural sleep aids.

According to a study by the Frontier Research Labs in Japan, test patients given glycine, showed significant reduction in fatigue and sleepiness during the day. The study on humans concluded that glycine improves sleep quality without negatively affecting daytime performance. It actually improved the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

So I gave it a try, and I’m a believer. I definitely sleep much better, and feel more refreshed and energetic during the day. I now take one serving of glycine powder about one hour before bedtime. I fall asleep quickly, and get a full night’s rest.

If you prefer, you can increase your blood’s glycine levels by drinking chamomile tea. Chamomile is an European flower in the daisy family. A study funded by Oxford Natural Products showed that chamomile tea increased the urinary levels of glycine. And glycine levels remained elevated for two weeks after test subjects stopped drinking the tea.

I think that chamomile is one of the better tasting herbal teas. I also like the aroma of the tea. Just like the glycine powder, drink some chamomile tea about one hour before going to bed. Sometimes I put a small amount of glycine in the chamomile tea, which gives it a sweet taste. I really get a good night’s sleep when I combine the two.

Give it a try like I did. Either take some glycine or drink the chamomile tea, and get a good night’s rest. You will feel much better the next day. I do.


ScienceDaily: Chamomile Tea: New Evidence Supports Health Benefits

US National Library of Medicine: The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers

Dr. Oz Show: Natural Prescription Alternatives

National Sleep Foundation: Aging and Sleep

Mayo Clinic: Is Melatonin a Helpful Sleep Aid