Insomnia: A role for 5-HTP & other herbs?

In response to questions posted on the “Ask Question – Suggest Topic” page, I will briefly comment on Insomnia and the role of 5-HTP and other herbs.

i have another question i have alot of trouble sleeping, im 62 female, and i think i tried everything things work for about 4 days then stop working i tried warm milk, decaffinated tea, melatonin, valerian, L Theanin, something called deep sleep.
What do u suggest??

M r. Goldberg
I cant sleep as usual so im on the computer googling all kinds of supplements to help u sleep.. I have insomina and i was just reading about 5htp, what r your thoughts on this supplement? i so desperate for good help and u r the one to give the good help to me..
I read that it has a few side effects but they dont seem so bad ill try anything at this point….as long as its not life threating….. HELP!! Thank You

Insomnia can be related to numerous underlying conditions, and those conditions should be ruled out by a thorough medical evaluation. Absent such conditions, various “natural” remedies (and lifestyle adjustments, such as avoidance of caffeine before bedtime, etc, can be helpful). It seems you have tried many of the common natural remedies. If you have not tried 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), I think it is certainly worth trying. 5-HTP is the precursor to the neutrotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan, by the way, is the precursor to 5-HTP. For several reasons, 5-HTP is thought to be more effective. Before taking any supplement of this type, however, especially if you are taking other medication, you should get approval from your physician.

If you go to the, and enter “5-HTP” in the keyword search box, you will see many products to choose from.

Two other products worth considering for those having trouble sleeping would be Phyto-Tech Sleep Complex (#57028, #57045) and Phyto-Tech Relax-PM (#56959, #57025). Sleep Complex contains melatonin, valerian, skullcap, passion flower, chamomile and California poppy. It comes in liquid and capsule form. Here is a link to those items. For more information, go to page 233 and 230 of the digital version of the Willner Chemists Product Reference Catalog on the Willner Chemists website.

About Don Goldberg

Hello. I am what you might call a Nutritional Pharmacist. After college, I worked in the Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Industry, first in Quality Control, and then in Manufacturing and Product Development. Increasingly, as the years passed, I became more involved with nutritional supplements. I spent many years detailing physicians, herbalists, and homeopaths about nutritional and herbal therapies and products. In 1992, along with my friend Arnie Gitomer, I bought Willner Chemists, a well-established nutritionally oriented pharmacy. For the first time, I had an opportunity to communicate directly with the consumer, the patient, and the customer. I love it. This blog is an additional way for me to extend my personal views and opinions directly to you. I also used to be on the radio, every Sunday, from 2 to 4 pm on WOR radio in NY (710 AM). You can listen to, or read excerpts from those shows on our website,
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1 Response to Insomnia: A role for 5-HTP & other herbs?

  1. Charlotte says:

    Hello, Don,

    I’m a friend and new care-provider for a neighbor with Parkinson’s, and am in the process of learning all I can.

    I’ve discovered that the blogs I’ve found, like yours, are the best sources of real, useful information for someone like me. Thank you very much for your contributions to my education!

    May I share another that I like? The author’s name is John, and he seems like a fountain of information and inspiration. He has a focus on 5htp (as you see from his address), and he discusses how it has helped him with depression and insomnia.

    Thanks again,


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