What is 5 HTP?
5 HTP, or 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is an amino acid that naturally occurs in the body and assists in the production of serotonin, which is a hormone that promotes feelings of calm, happiness, and overall well-being. Many people have serotonin deficiencies, but most people don’t know that you can use 5 HTP supplements to combat that problem.
Since 5 HTP increases serotonin levels, it is often used as an anxiety relief supplement. Since 5 HTP already occurs in the body, using 5 HTP supplements is technically a completely natural method of increasing your serotonin levels. However, 5 HTP is actually most commonly found in sleep supplements since it causes feelings of calm and relaxation. Check out our Top 10 Sleep Supplements to learn about some great insomnia solutions that contain 5 HTP.
5 HTP Benefits
Since 5 HTP boosts serotonin levels, the most significant 5 HTP benefits are anxiety reduction and sleep induction. Many people use 5 HTP at night to calm their nerves and help them fall asleep. Here is a list of the most common 5 HTP benefits:
- Enhances mood
- Supports serotonin level increase
- Helps induce sleep
- Produces feelings of calm and relaxation
- Reduces anxiety
- Can relieve symptoms of depression
5 HTP For Sleep
You will find that many of the best sleep supplements on the market tend to include a healthy dosage of 5 HTP. This is not necessarily because it puts you to sleep after you take it, but it certainly contributes to the process of relaxing the body and preparing the mind for sleep. Nutrients that put you to sleep are the ones that boost melatonin levels, whereas 5 HTP boosts serotonin levels.
Therefore, it doesn’t put you to sleep per se, but it puts you in a much better position to fall asleep through effective anxiety relief. People who use 5 HTP for sleep tend to combine it with nutrients that boost melatonin levels. If you can boost serotonin AND melatonin, then you will be in very good shape when it comes time for bed, which is why so many people use 5 HTP for sleep.
5 HTP For Depression
The principle of using 5 HTP for depression is sound. Depression is most often caused by serotonin deficiency. Therefore, if you can boost serotonin levels by using 5 HTP, then you could potentially cure your depression.
Depression patients tend to get prescribed SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) because increasing serotonin is the key to curing depression. However, SSRIs have a pretty bad reputation for causing all sorts of side effects, which is why going the natural route is appealing. We definitely aren’t saying not to take prescription meds. However, using 5 HTP for depression can potentially be a viable option.
5 HTP Dosage
If you’re using 5 HTP for sleep, then a common dosage is usually about 50 milligrams. The dosage size is typically about the same if you are taking 5 HTP for depression. Sometimes after a while, you may need to up the dosage, but 50 milligrams is a great starting point.
If you take 50 milligrams of 5 HTP before going to bed at night, it may not exactly put you to sleep, but it will definitely help relieve your nighttime anxiety. However, when 50 MG of 5 HTP is combined with natural sedatives and melatonin boosters as is done in many of the best sleep supplements on the market, the combination tends to put people to sleep very quickly.
5 HTP Side Effects
Before supplementing with 5 HTP, it’s important to know the potential 5 HTP side effects. Some of the 5 HTP side effects that have been reported include drowsiness, heartburn, nausea, and stomach pain. Side effects are not extremely common, but it’s important to at least be aware of what they are in case they occur.
5 HTP Conclusion – Should You Take It?
5 HTP is worth a shot if you are someone who struggles with symptoms of depression or symptoms of insomnia. It has been proven to help improve peoples’ moods and help them fall asleep as well. We think 5 HTP is best used as a part of a comprehensive supplement rather than on its own, which is why we recommend checking out our list of the Top 10 Best Sleep Supplements if you’re interested in using a 5 HTP based supplement for sleep.