Just FYI: Almonds are high in anti-oxidants, high in magnesium (a little over 2 mg in each almond), monounsaturated fats (the good fats, EFAs), phosphorus, zinc, calcium and folic acid. About 22 almonds contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk. They provide naturally occurring vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and Vitamin E. And they're supposed to be great for the skin.
Way back when I first started looking into my sleep problems and thought L-Tyrosine (an essential amino acid) might help, and it did to a degree, I started eating almonds because they're very high in Tyrosine. Only takes about 6 almonds to get what's needed. The natural food sources of tyrosine include avocados, almonds, bananas, dairy products, pumpkin seeds, lima beans, and sesame seeds. Tyrosine affects mood, mental ability, sleep, and sex drive (I can't confirm that one, but the others are definitely true for me). In pumpkin seeds ... makes me wonder if Tyrosine doesn't play a part in the anti-parasitical properties of pumpkin seeds.
When I was taking the Tyrosine, my doctor told me to take it first thing in the morning before eating anything else (instructions on the bottle say to take before bed). He said it was because the brain has only a certain number of amino acids it will make use of each day, so they're always competing with each other to see which can get to the brain first. Taking right upon waking ensures there aren't any other amino acids to fight with, so you're guaranteed the brain will uptake the Tyrosine. I definitely did get a boost in alertness with supplementing with Tyrosine, but for myself found that after about 2 weeks the benefit seemed to taper off—but I'm sure that's because it wasn't addressing the CAUSE of my sleep problems, which as you know I now believe is a breathing related issue. I may start trying to increase the Tyrosine after I start with my MAD for the breathing disorder, and see if that helps me recover from years of sleep deprivation a little quicker. I also definitely saw a definite improvement in mood—but I was under a LOT of stress at the time.
If you supplement Tyrosine, remember it may reduce other amino acids. I will simply get it from food sources and just stick to maybe my one handful of almonds a day, or expect I'm getting enough from cheese, eggs, other proteins, avocados, bananas.
The following is from wikipedia's entry on Tyrosine:
Tyrosine is a precursor to neurotransmitters and increases plasma neurotransmitter levels (particularly dopamine and norepinephrine) but has little if any effect on mood. The effect on mood is more noticeable in humans subjected to stressful conditions (see below).
A number of studies have found tyrosine to be useful during conditions of stress, cold, fatigue, prolonged work and sleep deprivation, with reductions in stress hormone levels, reductions in stress-induced weight loss seen in animal trials, improvements in cognitive and physical performance seen in human trials. Because tyrosine hydroxylase is the rate limiting enzyme, however, effects are less significant than those of l-dopa.
Tyrosine does not seem to have any significant effect on mood, cognitive or physical performance in normal circumstances. A daily dosage supported in the literature is about 100 mg/kg for an adult. The usual dosage amounts to 500-1500 mg per day (dose suggested by most manufacturers; usually an equivalent to 1-3 capsules of pure tyrosine). It is not recommended to exceed 12000 mg (12 g) per day. In fact, too high doses result in reduced levels of dopamine. Tyrosine may decrease the absorption of other amino acids in high or chronic doses. It decreases absorption of l-dopa.