Sleep Aid

What can I take instead of melatonin for sleep?

When you take melatonin to help you sleep, you’re actually taking a hormone. Over a period of time, you could end up needing more and more of this hormone to create the same effect. 

Instead, you could try taking the precursor to melatonin called tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that turns into 5-HTP, which turns into serotonin, which then turns into melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that induces sleep, and it’s stimulated by darkness. 

Benefits of tryptophan:

• It has virtually no side-effects 

• It can act as a natural antidepressant 

• It has anxiolytic properties (anti-anxiety)

• It can promote sleep 

However, if you’re on any psychiatric medications, talk to your doctor before taking tryptophan. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have too much serotonin. You also don’t want to come off of medication too quickly or add something else to the mix that could create an imbalance. When you take tryptophan, you always want to take it on an empty stomach. Tryptophan competes with other amino acids. Anytime you take tryptophan with another protein, it won’t work. 

Last updated: Jan 14, 2023 18:23 PM