Depression; Sleep; Insomnia

Many of us have experienced feelings of drowsiness following a large turkey dinner. The reason why people tend to get sleepy after eating turkey is really quite interesting.
Eating turkey makes us sleepy because there is about 200 mg of 5-hydroxytryptophan in a quarter of a pound of turkey. Around Thanksgiving, people eat turkey, turkey sandwiches, and so on, and so forth, and then they snooze. They go right out in the middle of the football game.

5-hydroxytryptophan is not the same thing as L-tryptophan. However, 5-hydroxytryptophan gets converted directly into a sopophoric called serotonin, and serotonin will improve mood and induce sleep.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that functions as an antidepressant. When people take Prozac, or Paxil, etc., they’re increasing the receptor concentration of serotonin to improve their mood.
They don’t, however, increase the production of serotonin. What often happens, is that people take the antidepressants, and they start feeling better. After a while, the medication no longer works. Instead of addressing the real problem, the doctors often increase the dosage, or they switch medications, to compensate for drug tolerance. Instead, they should be making sure their patients have the right materials present and the brain chemistry needed to produce serotonin on their own.

5-hydroxytryptophan is my “go-to” antidepressant, and the worst thing that 5-HTP does is help you rest at night. That’s the very worst thing that stuff is going to do, and it’s cheap. Some people take 100 mg, some 50, but the typical adult dosage is 200 mg at night.

Depression and lack of serotonin can cause other issues other than just mood disorders. It can also manifest through sleep disorders, like consistently waking up around 4, 4:30am, and not being able to get back to sleep. Waking in the early hours of the morning is called late insomnia, or early morning awakening. The way that you deal with that, is with the 5-HTP. If needed, you can add L-tyrosine, and it that’ll knock you out as well.

About David S Klein, MD 149 Articles
David S. Klein, MD, FACA, FACPM was born in Washington, DC, and was raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland with degrees in Chemistry and Psychology. Medical School was completed at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, followed by Internship in General Surgery at the University of North Carolina and Residency in Anesthesiology at the Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Dr Klein has been practicing medicine since 1983, concentrating in Pain Medicine, Minimally Invasive Medicine and Surgery, and Neuroendocrinology. Earning Board Certification in Anesthesiology, Dr. Klein was elected Fellow in the American College of Anesthesiology, and he was elected Fellow in the American College of Pain Medicine. He is currently an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida, School of Medicine. He has focused his private practice on treating patients with hormone imbalance issues, nutritional deficiency related medical problems as well as pain related issues and impairment. With a highly-complex, CLIA licensed laboratory in-house, he has been able to provide rapid-turn around analysis efficiently and cost-effectively. Lecturing extensively nationally as well as internationally, Dr. Klein has authored many articles on topics relating to pain, injury and nutritionally modulated illness. His radio show, “Pain Free Living,” received top ratings during the 6 years it was on the air. Currently practicing in Longwood, Florida, Dr. Klein practices entirely in the office setting.