L-Tryptophan vs. Melatonin: Which Sleep Supplement Is Better?

AminoAcidProducts | August 01, 2019 | Amino Acid Supplements

L-tryptophan vs Melatonin: Which is a better supplement for a full night’s rest? Sleep is a vital means to regain your energy, much like how important your body needs water or food for strength and survival. Without proper sleep, your brain and body will not function at peak. According to science, a full night’s rest of at least 7-8 hours is ideal and improves your brain’s abilities to learn new things, strengthens your memory, gives the ability to make sound decisions, and influences creativity in many areas. Acquiring a good night’s sleep is also linked to lower risks of developing illnesses like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Despite many sleep aids like soft comforters or peaceful melody makers, many people still suffer from lack of sleep today due to several factors such as stress or poor sleeping habits. This is where sleeping supplements such as L-tryptophan or melatonin come to play a role in healthy sleeping behaviors. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that our bodies need to build protein and other important chemicals that give a signal to our brain. Later, it transforms into serotonin, a happy hormone that aids in balancing your sleep or mood. Melatonin, on the other hand, is a hormone responsible for regulating your sleep and wake cycle. It acts as a short-term remedy for sleeping problems like stress or jetlag. Learn more about how both supplements can be beneficial for you reading further.


L-tryptophan vs. Melatonin, Which Acts as a Better Sleep Supplement?


L-tryptophan or simply tryptophan, functions as a mood regulator, aiding your body in balancing and producing hormones naturally. It is proven to be effective and safe in treating sleeping problems like insomnia. There are several tryptophan-rich foods available for regular intakes such as salmon, chicken, eggs, cheese, and turkey. Or, you can take L-tryptophan supplements to aid in promoting peaceful rest, fighting anxiety, to burning extra body fat. Taking it in will increase serotonin production, the chemical responsible for uplifting your mood.

Serotonin transmits signals between brain functions and nerve cells which later transform the state of your mood and sleeping patterns. The chemical is highly-reliable for its natural effects which have no side effects to worry about. In fact, this amino acid is linked to stimulating growth hormones as well as decrease food cravings especially toward sugar which many of us crave but eventually will prove bad for us. It would be best to consult a doctor to get an assurance of trustworthy prescribed supplements before visiting the drugstore and receiving a pharmaceutical suggestion. It is also advised not to rely solely on food sources.

Other benefits of tryptophan include improving ailments such as:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Depression
  3. Fatigue
  4. Migraines/headaches
  5. ADHD
  6. Sleeping disorder
  7. Binge eating disorder
  8. Fibromyalgia
  9. PMS
  10. Menopause symptoms

5HTP is another supplement synthesized from tryptophan which aids in lowering the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Other benefits include helping to maintain a good weight, improving sleeping problems such as insomnia or sleep apnea, and helps in the recovery process from addictions such as smoking. For example, natural sources that contain 5HTP which you can find in foods are bananas, potatoes, cashews, grass-fed lamb or beef, beans, legumes, whole grains, and organic dairy products. You can take your nutrition from these on a day-to-day basis to mark a healthy sleeping pattern every day.


Between L-tryptophan vs. melatonin, melatonin is the natural hormone found in your body which impacts your cycle for sleeping and waking. Melatonin is produced more during the nighttime to stimulate your body to fall asleep faster. Melatonin levels increase approximately two hours before sleeping time. A sleeping supplement plays its role especially on days like stressful and hectic workdays. You’ll need to pump extra supplements for a good night’s rest.

Doctors recommend increased melatonin intake to help with insomnia. Based on research, the supplement helps you to fall asleep more quickly especially if you have a tendency to sleep very late and wake up late the following day. The suggested dosage for melatonin is 1 – 3 mg daily before going to bed. Melatonin also helps with jet lag and should be taken a few days before your transit day.

Note that too much melatonin can produce side effects when taking more than the advised dosage. Poor health side effects include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness or headache. Moreover, you need to wait five hours before you can operate or drive a machine or vehicle after taking melatonin supplements. While melatonin induces sleepiness and promotes good-sounding sleep, you also are required to consistently follow a regular, healthy sleeping pattern. You also need to avoid using gadgets right before bedtime. Performing a calming activity before bed is suggested ways to do so.

L-Tryptophan vs Melatonin: Which is Best?

Always check with your physician. So between L-tryptophan vs melatonin, which sleeping supplement helps with your sleep better? L-tryptophan is implemental in synthesizing melatonin and serotonin, both contributing to our natural sleeping cycle. Melatonin, on the other hand, can make you feel more rested when you wake but is not suggested for use long-term (over 60 days or more) as it prevents your metabolic functions from working properly as well as impedes your reproductive hormone levels. In fact, physicians advise that it is not recommended by doctors to use melatonin for use as a long-lasting treatment

In terms of energy levels, L-tryptophan helps in sustaining higher energy levels in the daytime. This allows our bodies to drain of energy by evening so we can get an earlier rest. In fact, L-tryptophan does other important roles like supporting our body’s immune system, convert itself to the essential vitamin B3 which supports good circulation and promotes both a well-functioning central nervous system and smooth metabolism. If you feel your body requires these extra boosts, this sleeping supplement is the one to choose. Between L-tryptophan vs melatonin, tryptophan carries more benefits and lesser side effects than the body can trust for long-term, health-enhancing use.

L-Tryptophan vs Melatonin for Better Sleep

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