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Tryptophan and Sleep

Tryptophan and Sleep

This ingredient is contained in NeuroScience's Nuvoxil, a popular health product by Neuroscience Inc..


Tryptophan is an essential amino acid needed by the body. It is not called essential because it is vital in the development of body tissues but because it is not synthesized naturally by the body and thus have to rely on food intake and supplements for adequate supply.


Tryptophan has become popular due to its effectiveness in inducing sleep. The main reason for this is because of its important role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for helping the mind feel calm and relaxed. Additionally, the serotonin produced is metabolized by the pineal gland in the brain to become melatonin. Melatonin is a compound that regulates the sleep-wake cycle of the body. Its specific function is to cause drowsiness and help the body to cool down to a lower temperature conducive to sleep.


Many patients who have trouble sleeping prefer tryptophan supplements because it is effective and without any known side effects. Also unlike other sleeping pills, tryptophan supplements do not alter sleep patterns. Its effectiveness cuts average waiting time to fall asleep in half so one sleeps sooner when taking tryptophan supplements. It also does not affect the stages of sleep like other sleeping aids.

The usual dosage to induce sleep is 2 capsules half an hour prior to bedtime. It should be taken on an empty stomach to maximize absorption of tryptophan since other amino acids will interfere if the supplement is taken with food, especially protein.


In many cases, just a glass of warm milk is enough to induce sleepiness. In fact, even before the discovery of tryptophan, warm milk was already recommended since it promotes good sleep.

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