this hits on the individual chemistry angle where people are often different. have you tried taking 5-htp already? if you have, did you notice any cognitive effect? did you notice any digestive effect?
5-htp makes me manic and I can discern no benefit for sleep. while in some people the pathway can be slow or broken, 5-htp bypasses the hydroxylation mechanism resulting in a relatively unregulated bump of serotonin. even if a generous amount gets converted to melatonin, you still might have too much serotonin floating around to effectively fall asleep.
as a stop-gap for correcting your sleep issue, I encourage taking l-tryptophan instead. 5-htp is converted from l-tryptophan, so your body will use what it needs. 500-1000mg about an hour before bedtime should suffice.
I have tried 5-Htp for sleep, and for me, melatonin seems to work better. I have had friends be the exact opposite and had the 5-Htp work better. I think it's just one of those things that you'll have to try to see how you like it.
The action of 5-HTP in promoting sleep is to increase CNS serotonin production. As such, it is typically not effective except in situations of chronic insomnia. That being said, I haven't personally tried it.
I have found that it has a calming effect for me. I've used it for sleep purposes and also a few times for high anxiety days at work. It didn't make me doze off during the day, but it did lessen anxiety. As such it definitely helps me fall asleep easier as well. It does not necessarily keep me asleep though.
Yes, I tried it. But can't say much about results, for the following reasons.
I wasn't having sleep problems. Was more interested to sleep more deeply. Was doing well, wanted to do better.
So I explored melatonin, theanine, GABA, and 5-HTP. In various doses, and various combinations. No way to know which had any particular effect.
I kept sleeping well. As I do today.
Main thing I would say: make sure your sleeping room is dark. Regardless, wear eye shades. Minimize caffeine late in day. Don't be stupid with alcohol, day or night. Get exercise. Consider practicing meditation of some form, or various methods of relaxation that may not be "sleep" per se but are very much appreciated by CNS (central nervous system).
And when you find yourself awake late at night, don't add worry to the mix. Reclining quietly is way, way more restful than reclining with agitation.
If intense emotional and/or mental issues keep you awake, that's different. Get a good therapist, and get to work.
I tried 5-HTP for better sleep. I started with 50mg and went up to 400mg taken right before bed. Unfortunately, it didn't help me fall asleep quicker, which was my main problem. I did notice a considerable effect on sleep quality, though. My sleep was a lot deeper, my dreams were extremely vivid and I was feeling refreshed in the morning even though I didn't sleep for more than 7 hours.