Sleep Well Tonight with 5-HTP
Insomnia affects 1/3 of us at some point in our lives – and those of us who have been there know it rocks our world.
Lately, it feels like there’s an insomnia epidemic.
So many of my friends don’t sleep well, including myself sometimes. There are many reasons why we -don’t sleep;
-too much alcohol or
-too much caffeine.
What all of these have in common is that they are serotonin disruptors. When our serotonin levels are disrupted our sleep is disrupted.
If there was a supplement to improve your ability to fall asleep faster, stay asleep and also improve your mood, and curb your food cravings you would want to try it right? Well there is, I’m talking about 5-HTP.
What is 5-HTP?
It’s an amino acid found in the body which helps us make serotonin. We know how important serotonin is. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter which has powerful effects on the brain. Some of it’s profound functions are regulating our mood, our sleep cycles, food cravings, reaction to pain and even our sex drive.
Basically, the better your serotonin levels are the better all your systems will function.
How Does 5-HTP Work?
- The body makes 5-HTP naturally from tryptophan and, then, converts it into serotonin.
- Doctors favor taking a 5-HTP supplement instead of a serotonin supplement because 5-HTP can access the brain from the bloodstream, while serotonin cannot.
- 5-HTP actually crosses the blood brain barrier to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
- Increasing your serotonin levels helps to regulate your sleep cycle, suppress your appetite, help headaches, depression and even fibromyalgia.
When starting, try to ease your body into taking 5-HTP by taking a small dose.
Start with 100mg dosage.
Take it 20-30 minutes before meals.
If you don’t think 100mg is giving the desired effect, do speak with your health care provider about potentially increasing the dose.
While it may take a few weeks to really feel a difference, the recommended time frame to use 5HTP is for 12 weeks at a time.
What Else Can you Do to Encourage Deep Sleep?
Avoid bright lights from your TV, laptop, cell phone or e-reader 1 hour before bed.
- Go to sleep before 11pm.
- Don’t exercise 2 hours before sleep.
- Moderately use caffeine and alcohol which disrupts serotonin by increasing adrenalin.
- Avoid sugar, chocolate and refined carbohydrates which will elevate blood sugar and disrupt serotonin.
- Consider taking a magnesium supplement: Dr. Frank Lipman and Dr. Weil recommend taking 1,000 mg. before bed.