The Science Of Sleep (6 Natural Processes You Need To Know)

Trouble sleeping?  Looking for natural remedies to help you fall asleep? Discover the 6 all natural sleep inducing processes that must occur! This is the science of sleep!

I imagine you are familiar with the suggestion of counting sheep when you can’t fall asleep. I sincerely hope you have not tried! This is an example of well meaning, but totally incorrect advise!

Please don’t count sheep. When you focus on counting rather than drifting off to sleep you will actually be stimulating your brain. Your now stimulated brain will be focusing on the task of trying to see sheep. This actually makes your likelihood of falling asleep much less.

Understanding the Human Sleep Cycle.

The Science Of Sleep

If you are having difficulty sleeping, you are not alone.  A recent Harvard study found that about 1 in 4 U.S. workers has insomnia.  That’s a lot of people not sleeping well!

The Science Of Sleep (Why Natural Remedies Are The Answer)

the science of sleep - natural remedy

To gain a good and restful night of sleep one of the first things you need do is normalize your sleeping pattern. To understad why this is important lets look at how we fall asleep.

To be able to sleep your body needs 6 things to happen:

1. Access To Tryptophan

To kick-start our body’s process which leads to normal sleep, known as the science of sleep,  you need to eat or drink foods containing Tryptophan, an essential amino acid.

2. 5-hydroxy L-Tryptophan (5-HTP);

Your body then converts the Tryptophan to into 5-hydroxy L-Tryptophan, more commonly known as 5-HTP.

3. Serotonin

Your body coverts the 5-HTP into Serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that carries messages between nerve cells in the brain and the rest of your body. Serotonin plays a key role in many functions including mood and sleep.

4. Melatonin

Some of the Serotonin is converted into Melatonin. This is the key to getting good sleep. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in your brain. It controls your body’s sleep pattern and sleep–wake cycle.

5. Access To Daylight

During the day you need to make sure you have access to normal natural daylight. When we are exposed to daylight our body produces less Melatonin so we remain active and alert.

6. Darkness For Sleep

Melatonin is affected by light. The darker it gets, the more Melatonin your body produces. The Melatonin is what makes your body and brain feel tired and able to fall asleep.

People who are unable to get a good nights sleep will find one of the 4 chemical reactions is out of balance or not occuring.

The lack, or imbalance, of Tryptophan, 5-HTP, Serotonin or Melatonin is what leads to a lack of sleep, poor quality sleep and even the inability to become sleepy.

Melatonin is key for the science of sleep.

Remember – Your internal body clock is controlled by Melatonin. The Melatonin your body produces is affected by light.

The darker it becomes the more Melatonin your body produces. More Melatonin starts to make you feel tired and need sleep.

When exposed to light your body produces less Melatonin making you alert and you become wide awake.

Tryptophan is the only amino acid that can convert into 5-HTP and then to Serotonin, which coverts into Melatonin.  Therefore your body has only one way to produce Melatonin and that is to eat more foods containing Tryptophan.  This is is why natural sleep remedies really work.

Foods High In Tryptophan.









cottage cheese

Cottage Cheese

red meat

Red Meat













sunflower seeds

Sunflower Seeds

pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Seeds








Tofu and Soy

Dietary Advice For Achieving A Great Nights Sleep.

1. If you are eating sugary types of cereal it’s time to stop! Go for a wholegrain cereal, and add some milk and sliced banana. 

2. Add 3 high tryptophan food types and boost your natural science of sleep cycle.

3. When planning your meals make sure to choose proteins that are rich in Tryptophan amino acid. This will boost your production of sleep inducing Melatonin. Turkey, chicken, milk, cheese, nuts and seeds are great choices to supplement your diet with Tryptophan.

4. Combine your chosen protein foods with healthy carbohydrate rich foods. Good choices are rice, pasta and potatoes. These foods help your body gain the maximum benefit from tryptophan.

5. Plan to have your main meal early in the evening. When you eat it elevates your body’s core temperature. This is known to disrupt sleep. A rule of thumb is to eat your evening meal at least four hours before you go to bed.

6. If you feel hungry, due to the earlier meal, don’t head for sugar! A glass of warm milk and a wholemeal cracker or oatcake is a great, and tryptophan rich, snack.

7. Reduce your caffeine intake. If it’s possible drink your last caffeinated beverage no later than midday.  The time your body needs to eliminate caffeine from your system is between five to six hours.

8. Make sure you include exercise into your daily routine. This is especially important if your lack of sleep is worsened by stress or anxiety. A brisk walk, yoga or light stretching can be a helpful way to unwind. When you exercise during the day you are helping your body to feel sleepy naturally later in the evening.

9. Avoid using mobile phones, computers or electronic devices late in the evening. The light from screens of electronic devices can have a stimulating effect. This is not helpful when trying to get to sleep.

the science of sleep 5 stage cycle

I hope you have enjoyed this post and now understand the steps and processes required for gaining a good nights sleep. By adding Tryptophan rich foods to your diet your body is able to produce the Melotonin it needs for a healthy sleep cycle.

Ensuring your bedroom is as dark as possible will kickstart your body into producing Melotonin which makes you feel tired, restful and able to sleep soundly. Sleep well!

The Science Of Sleep (6 Natural Processes You Need To Know)

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