Quality sleep has been linked to a slew of health benefits, and between summer travel and a packed social calendar, getting enough shuteye is especially crucial during this time of year.
Quality of sleep is just as important as how many hours you're logging each night. Research shows that artificial light (TV, night light) can interrupt sleep patterns and cause depression, says Dr. Cathleen London, a board certified family physician and triathlete. If sleep doesn’t come easy for you, and melatonin hasn’t helped, you may want to try the natural supplement suntheanine. “I am a big fan of suntheanine (pharmaceutical grade l-theanine) to get better sleep patterns, particularly when stressed, traveling, etc.” Dr. London says.
Theanine is an amino acid originally found in green tea that is known for its calming effects. It helps stimulate the brain's production of alpha waves to reduce stress and anxiety. "You can even take it in the middle of the night if you wake up and have trouble falling back asleep,” Dr. London says. (Suntheanine is available in most health food stores and online).