Evening intake of alpha-lactalbumin increases plasma tryptophan availability and improves morning alertness and brain measures of attention
While the Ambien ads may not give you this impression, there are several well known causes for problems falling asleep. One can be a stress related increase in evening cortisol leading to increased arousal at night which can make sleep difficult. Managing stress and nutritional approaches to lowering cortisol can help here.
Another reason is altered serotonin levels. Serotonin has many functions, one of which is to sedate and help initiate sleep. Tryptophan is a large neutral amino acid (LNAA) that gets converted to serotonin. The problem with this is that, if there is a lot of competition from other LNAAs tryptophan loses and doesn’t cross to blood brain barrier to get converted to serotonin where we need it.
This study looks at this pathway by using alpha lactoalbumin to circumvent this competition. The results are pretty good.