More ZZzzzs, Less “Bahs!” with BiPro

In the exhibition hall at SLEEP 2009, I received free packets of protein supplements distributed by BiPro. One is enriched with tryptophan and the other is ladened with alphalactalbumin. The former improves sleep while the latter is a double whammy; it improves sleep and mitigates stress.

The active ingredient in the former is tryptophan, an amino acid that is known to summon the sandman after a Thanksgiving turkey feast. This is because tryptophan is a by-product of serotonin which is further synthesized through N-acetyltransferase into melatonin: the hormone of darkness. Melatonin is secreted at night (duh!) near sleep onset, initiates sleep, and aids in the consolidation of sleep. Some people are non-respondent to exogenous melatonin (i.e. pills). I am one. This manifests from varying expression at melatonin receptors. It’s easy to discover whether or not you’re a responder or non-responder too. Drive, walk, run, and/or bike to your nearest pharmacy and grab some melatonin pills. They are OTC. Take one at 7, and/or a few hours before your usual bedtime. If you feel the need for reverie, you respond. If not, a hot bath will help. Sadly enough, most of the general public knows nothing about the responder vs. non-responder phenotype. I imagine the non-responders are the people who are calling BiPro to complain, and subsequently, are given more of this “ineffective” product as compensation.

The active ingredient in the latter supplement is alphalactalbumin which is co-secreted with prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone associated with lactation. It is a hypnotic and anxiolytic hormone (word of the day! anxio = stress, lytic = break).

I promise you each is tasty in milk. Oreos not included, but suggested.


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