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Tryptophan - the amino acid for a good mood and healthy sleep

Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids and must therefore be supplied to the body through food. The amino acid is considered to improve mood and promote sleep. Tryptophan is the precursor of important neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin. Both directly influence our mood and our sleep. This is why tryptophan is often used for self-treatment of depressive moods and sleep disorders.

Tryptophan as a natural mood booster

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is a neurotransmitter and is involved in the transmission of excitation in nerve cells. It also influences the muscle cells in the blood vessels and the gastrointestinal tract as well as blood clotting. However, serotonin is best known for its effect on the nervous system. The neurotransmitter is often referred to as the "happiness hormone", as it has a mood-enhancing effect and dampens negative feelings such as anxiety or sadness. The effect of many antidepressants is based, among other things, on influencing the serotonin metabolism. Serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and in the central nervous system from the amino acid tryptophan. A lack of tryptophan therefore has a negative effect on serotonin levels and influences our mood. The essential amino acid is therefore also known as a "natural antidepressant".

Tryptophan as a natural sleep promoter

Serotonin is not only considered a mood enhancer, but also plays an important role in sleep-wake regulation. A serotonin deficiency in the brain is associated with sleep disorders. Together with its counterpart melatonin, the neurotransmitter controls the day-night rhythm. The so-called "sleep hormone" melatonin is produced from serotonin. A lack of tryptophan therefore not only leads to a reduced serotonin level, but also to a reduced melatonin level. To promote sleep, tryptophan can therefore be taken around 30 minutes before going to bed.

You can read more about healthy sleep here.

Tryptophan - occurrence and intake

Tryptophan is an amino acid and therefore a component of proteins. It is therefore absorbed through protein-rich foods such as meat, fish or pulses. Nuts (e.g. walnuts) also usually contain a lot of tryptophan. Compared to other amino acids, tryptophan is only found in small quantities in food. If required, dietary supplements such as our L-tryptophan capsules can therefore be used.