5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), commonly found in an African shrub, is an amino acid that serves as a precursor for the biosynthesis of serotonin and melatonin in the brain from the other amino acid tryptophan.
5-HTP is used in medicine for sleep disorders such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, migraine and tension-type headaches, fibromyalgia, obesity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), seizure disorder, and Parkinson's disease.
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions.
An ingredient found in tea, L-theanine is the key reason behind tea’s ability to smooth out and calm the caffeine’s speedy, jolting punch of energy without reducing its accompanying mind-energizing, focus-building, and fat-burning features. It relaxes the body and calms the mind without causing drowsiness – a feature that has been found to improve sleep quality in volunteers during a study performed in Japan.
The subjects were given 200 mg of theanine daily and wore devices around their wrists that recorded sleep patterns. The L-theanine didn’t cause the subjects to sleep longer, but it did cause them to sleep better. Recovery from exhaustion, sleep quality, and refreshed feelings were all enhanced – making the subjects feel like they had slept longer than they actually had.
Another benefit of L-theanine is that it leaves people in a better mood – improving the volume of amino acids, elevating seratonin and suppressing glucocorticoids – stress hormones that can play a role in depression as well as negatively affect memory and learning.