If you’re experiencing months of restless sleep, along with a host of other symptoms, you may decide to go for a hormone panel. If you’re a woman in her 40s, you may be going through menopause. Many women can handle lots of menopause symptoms, but lack of sleep can be frustrating. The over the counter supplement 5-HTP may turn out to be a great solution.
What is 5-HTP?
5-HTP stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan. It’s an amino acid, often recommended for menopause symptoms, that is the precursor to serotonin and a trigger for melatonin.
What does 5-HTP do?
During menopause, it’s used as an anti-depressant, an appetite suppressant, and as a sleep aid. After taking 5-HTP, may women are getting more sleep, they are generally happier, and are less susceptible to the munchies. Some women who take it during menopause, also don’t experience depression, or changes in their appetite.
How does 5-HTP work?
It’s easier to handle other symptoms of menopause when you’re getting enough sleep. 5-HTP helps you to get more sleep by increasing your brain’s level of serotonin, which calms you down and cues your nervous system to send you to sleep. It also increases melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone that your body normally kicks out in response to darkness or low light levels. Menopause throws off your body’s normal hormone regulation of serotonin and melatonin. 5-HTP can help ease you through the shifts that most women experience in menopause.
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate over the counter supplements like 5-HTP, so you’ll need to rely on recommendations for brands that work. Once you start menopause, you may want to try several other natural sleep aids like melatonin, St Johns Wort, and kava kava. You may or may not have relief, Part of the problem is that brands vary so widely in effective amounts of ingredients.
One of form often used is Natrol 100 mg capsules, which is labeled Double Strength. One capsule at night seems to be enough, although if you think you really need a good night’s sleep, you may take up to 2 capsules to be sure you sleep through the night. If you occasionally run out, you may notice that you sleep more fitfully, less deep. Many women feel like they get more restful sleep when they take 5-HTP.
Cost for Natrol 5-HTP
Depending upon your source, you can expect to pay about $14.99 for 30 capsules, 100 mg. The 50mg capsules usually run $8.99 for 30 capsules.
The best deal
Walgreens runs buy one get one free specials on Natrol brand about every 4-6 weeks, making it even more affordable. Natrol occassionally offers use-it-now peel off coupons for $1, so keep your eye out for those.