I love my sleep. My craving for sleep is probably why I’m not as fun as I used to be; whereas I used to be game to stay up all night, nowadays I get cranky if I don’t get my requisite eight hours of sleep. All-night benders and video gaming sessions are a thing of the past as my body heads into shutdown by 5am. Despite this, I still have difficulty falling straight asleep when I lie down, as my brain is hyperactive and constantly thinking about… stuff.
What’s a guy to do?
I’ve used melatonin for years now, but melatonin is only one half of the solution; it gears my body into sleep mode, but doesn’t do much to halt the flow of thoughts in my skull. Over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl can provide an extra punch, but I develop a tolerance to them too quickly for them to be useful. Having an active brain is obviously an asset—I like being smart and being able to figure stuff out—but it’s a real hindrance when you just want to go to sleep.
I found a solution from Victor Pride and Mike at Danger & Play: 5-HTP. This miracle supplement works in conjunction with melatonin to power down my brain and give me sweet dreams. If you’re looking to sleep better at night, 5-HTP is a must-add to your supplement list.
5-HTP: Shorting Out Your Brain
5-HTP is billed as the “precursor to serotonin,” a neurotransmitter vital to mood and overall health. Having too little serotonin typically leads to depression, and while I don’t fully understand the science behind this stuff, what I do understand is that taking 5-HTP makes me feel better. Way better. It’s the strongest hit of good feelings you can get that doesn’t involve illegal drugs or pharmaceuticals. One of 5-HTP’s other uses, aside from as a sleep aide, is as a way of getting yourself in a social mood during the day, akin to l-theanine.
So how does this stuff help you sleep?
Simple: 5-HTP calms your brain, relaxing you and making you better able to sleep. If your brain is like a raging bonfire, taking 5-HTP is like throwing a blanket over it to kill the oxygen flow. Whenever I pop a couple, my brain goes into a rest mode, my thoughts slow down and I can better pass out.
However, if you start using 5-HTP, I recommend you start with a low dosage. Most 5-HTP brands are sold in 50 mg tablets; start by taking one a night, then graduate to two (a 100 mg dose) afterwards. If you start experiencing ill effects, go back down to one tablet. For example, while I’ve now adjusted to taking 100 mg a night, when I first tried it, I had some seriously bizarre nightmares and woke up in a sweat. Additionally, unlike melatonin, 5-HTP’s effects are more delayed; you typically won’t feel it taking effect until about an hour after you’ve swallowed it.
Aside from these caveats, 5-HTP is a great way to improve the quality of your sleep. In a world where technology keeps us up way past our bedtimes, chemical stimulants like 5-HTP are an effective countermeasure.
Click here to buy Nature’s Way 5-HTP.