Quality Sleep with Tryptophan and Melatonin
Tryptophan and melatonin are both dietary supplements used to improve sleep quality and maintain a calm state of mind. Can you use these supplements and which is more effective?
What is Tryptophan ?
Tryptophan is an amino acid that is required by the body to synthesize serotonin , which is a neurotransmitter that primarily affects mood regulation. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate circadian rhythm in healthy sleep patterns.
<< Circadian rhythm refers to biological processes that occur in the body and are repeated about every 24 hours. These include hormone secretion, nutrition, sleep, and so on.
The body is not capable of producing tryptophan, but this essential amino acid can be acquired through food sources. According to MedlinePlus, foods that contain tryptophan include seeds and nuts, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, and cheese.
Including these foods in your normal diet helps to ensure your body has enough serotonin. It can also indirectly increase melatonin levels, since melatonin is produced in the coronary gland from serotonin.
Relationship Between Tryptophan and Melatonin
Tryptophan acts as a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. The body converts tryptophan to 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) . 5-HTP is converted into serotonin, which is converted to melatonin.
With the right amount of tryptophan, the body has enough serotonin to help produce melatonin.
Melatonin, which regulates the sleep / wake cycle, is released when the body encounters darkness. Disorders of the release of this hormone can cause sleep problems.
Although tryptophan and melatonin are present in food sources, some people take these compounds in the form of dietary supplements to increase their levels. This is usually done to help manage sleep disorders such as insomnia, Jet lag and sleep apnea.
In the English vocabulary this phenomenon is called jet lag , and in Lithuanian it is more commonly understood as “circadian rhythm disorder”.
Combination for Sleep Quality
Supplements containing L-tryptophan or melatonin are available online and at health stores. Some supplements contain only one of these ingredients, while others combine them with 5-HTP or other natural ingredients that promote relaxation, such as chamomile.
Supplements have shown potential to improve insomnia and sleep apnea, but more research is needed to determine its effectiveness. Melatonin supplements have shown moderate efficacy in the treatment of insomnia, Jet Lag and other sleep disorders.
Should L-tryptophan or melatonin be used by those with sleep problems? Some users reported that melatonin administration was more effective and improved sleep quality compared to tryptophan.
Melatonin is directly involved in sleep function, and trypto has to undergo a conversion process from 5-HTP to serotonin and only later to melatonin.
Recommended Dosage and Administration
Doses of tryptophan or melatonin supplements vary depending on several factors, including the underlying health condition, age, and reasons for taking them.
For example, according to the Mayo Clinic study, adults taking melatonin supplements for circadian rhythm disorders may require between 0.5 and 5 mg at bedtime.
Those who wish to take tryptophan and melatonin supplements should consult their doctor beforehand. This ensures the safety of these supplements for the individual, such as how much to take or when to take them.
For children, these two supplements should only be taken under medical supervision as these supplements may increase the risk of serious side effects in younger individuals. Your doctor can determine if they are safe for children, depending on age, weight, health or other factors.
Safety of Tryptophan and Melatonin Food Supplements
In many patients, tryptophan and melatonin supplements are well tolerated, but they are associated with some side effects. Trypto upplements can cause symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, nausea, heartburn and gas, as well as blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth and dizziness.
Tryptophan may also interact with other medicinal products and may cause mild to severe reactions. Concomitant use of tryptophan with antidepressants that increase serotonin levels can lead to serotonin syndromet the body contains too much of this neurotransmitter.
Other medicines that cannot be taken with tryptophan include benzodiazepines, dextromethorphan and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , melatonin supplements are considered safe for short-term sleep disorders.
Long-term use of melatonin supplements carries the risk of serious side effects or adverse reactions. Possible side effects that may occur with melatonin are anxiety, vivid dreams or nightmares, irritability and headaches.
Melatonin supplements can interact with certain types of drugs and lead to dangerous results. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, these supplements should not be taken with antidepressants, blood pressure medications, or NSAIDs.
Certain foods contain low levels of melatonin, including oats, rice, barley and sweetcorn, as well as several fruits, including bananas, pineapples, and oranges. However, doses from food sources are insufficient to improve sleep quality.
Typically, tryptophan and melatonin can be co-administered, although this does not necessarily provide more effective outcomes for those with sleep disorders. Those who want to take both supplements should discuss this with their doctor first. Keep in mind that melatonin should only be taken for a short time.