Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is a precursor to neurotransmitters serotonin, melatonin, and niacin. It is present in many foods such as bananas, dried nuts, cottage cheese, milk products, and even chocolate. It is also present in other foods such as meats. About 300 mg of this essential amino acid is in 3 ounces of lamb, beef, tuna and even peanuts.
In 1989, this essential amino acid was banned after there were deadly cases of a new autoimmune disease at that time, eosinophilia myalgia syndrome. This was from L-tryptophan produced in Japan. The ban was eventually lifted and now you can get 5-HTP – the direct precursor to serotonin. It works very well for sleep.
When I combine 5-HTP with SAM-e ( S-adenosyl methionine) for depression, it is very effective. Please always tell your health care practitioner if you are trying new supplements, especially when on conventional medication.
My go to sleep remedy (if I have no CBD oil in my home) is 5-HTP before bed with a small amount of the adaptogen, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).