Thyroid UK
82,781 members97,804 posts

L Tryptophan - Anyone had success please?

Have just ordered Thorne Research L Tryptophan to try and see if it helps my chronic insomnia which has put me in a crisis currently. Currently 11 days of very patchy sleep, with the last 3 nights absolutely no sleep... I feel absolutely an anxious wreck from this.

I do have periods of reasonable sleep, I keep a diary of supps, sleep etc to see if can recognise a pattern, I use Passifloria & Valerian at night to put me in a calm state. I have many self help things to make me 'drop'. I have cranial osteopathy, but still I hit these crisis times of no sleep at all & I cannot make sense of why.

I find it so difficult to assess where this insomnia is originating from. I know it can be a symptom of HyPO, and sleep issues have been around for me for many years....I have researched loads, read loads. SO many differing opinions on the net.

It would take too long to write the history and current Hypo status.

Some use Mealtonin in HyPO world, I don't feel I am Melatonin deficient.

BTW - Anyone used Genova for a Melatonin Test? - Is it any good ?

In brief, My B12 is good, D3 is good, Ferritin is good.

I use NDT 1 grain, am confused as to whether I am still HyPO. I don't have a lot of the common symptoms. Not overweight, don't get cold other than when I am wrecked from so little sleep. My basal is low whatever I seem to do, temps in the day are fine.

I use Adrenal support, but my adrenals are not that bad according to Genova saliva test. Slightly high cortisol at night - at least it was last June, but I have worked on that.

Sorry for the ramble, prob loads of typos!.... If anyone has used L Tryptophan with success would love to hear and if any tips around taking it - again lost of conflicting stuff on the net.



5 Replies

I used Viridian L-Triptophan in the past and it didn't agree with me as it left me feeling very groggy, with slow-thinking in the morning. I've given it a try again recently, but it caused the same symptoms.

I have been taking melatonin, 3 gr, in the evening, just before switching off the light, for almost a year and it works very well for me....


I tried Melatonin but it didn't agree with me at all - I felt really ill and went over-active as opposed to sleepy. I did the Genova Melatonin test which explained why I had this reaction - my Melatonin level was normal in the daytime and far higher than needed at night. So, it wasn't lack of Melatonin at night that was keeping me awake! I had the idea that maybe my body-clock had got a bit out of synch, so I borrowed a friend's SAD light ( v bright light therapy for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder) and used that for 30-45 mins each morning, as soon as I woke up. This did the trick within a few weeks for me. (The action of the bright light in the morning tells your body to cut down on the Melatonin production).

The Genova test shows your Melatonin level at 3 times in a 24 hour period - early morning, middle of day and middle of night (2.30 am in my case - eek!) It helped me sort out what the problem was. The lab gives a bit of diagnosis of the results.

If you find you do need to take Melatonin I understand that you need to start low and build up as necessary - there's guidance on-line.

I hope this helps!


Thanks Xanthe, this is really helpful, think I'll do the test.

Did you have to stop taking any supplements of any kind Before or Whilst doing the test?

With the 2.30am reading did you have to do saliva collection at that time? or do they have a way of working it out?

Hope you don't mine me asking these questions...... just wondering if you know what would make one have high Melatonin?

I always thought that using a DAD light made one 'make' melatonin not 'stop' one making it... very interesting?

apologies so many questions

many thaks




I can't remember if I had to stop taking supplements before the test - if you call Genova they will advise.

Sadly an early am wake-up is necessary - you have to collect the saliva sample then!

I've no idea why I might have high Melatonin - taking it as a supplement could obviously cause this, but I only tried in on two occasions. As my body has been all out of balance with ME (now recovering) that might explain my case.

Re the SAD light - my understanding is that it reduces Melatonin production by mimicking daylight - it's your natural wake-up call! Conversely, darkness stimulates Melatonin production to promote sleep, which is why some people need black-out blinds or very heavy curtains. Melatonin follows a well-known cycle of production over 24 hours, but if this shifts, or gets out of "synch" then sleep problems can arise - hence issues for shift workers and people travelling across time zones (e.g jet lag and a condition known as delayed sleep phase syndrome). Then, taking Melatonin at night will "reinforce" the sleep message whilst the SAD light in the morning reinforces the "wake up" message.

This link might be useful?

I hope this helps!


I suffer from chronic insomnia. You should start with a 1g dose, 3g is way too much. Nevertheless, you could gain weight and have major water retention with L-Tryptophan.

Melatonin has a rebound effect and will leave you awake after a few weeks. I would avoid it. The most powerful sleeping pill I have ever used is... Baclofen. OK, not very natural but pretty efficient.


You may also like...