Awhile back, I heard about the world of lucid dreaming, and started getting very curious as to how I could consistently obtain lucid dreams. Lucid dreaming on its own can be an enormously powerful tool, though it can be incredibly hard to achieve. The first step to lucid dreaming is being able to remember your dreams.
My friend told me about 5-HTP and said that it made his dreams really vivid, and also helped him fall asleep. This was before I started taking melatonin, so I ordered some and tried it, and started to really like it. One potentially positive side effect is loss of appetite. I noticed I hardly needed to eat the next day (similar to many nootropics) and I felt fine. I didn’t remember my dreams however, but later learned that the ability to recall dreams is related to recall memory (which 5-HTP isn’t for).
I continued taking 5-HTP for sleep (slept soundly, all night), and the weight loss was a nice treat as well. I learned later that in some countries, 5-HTP is used to help alleviate symptoms of depression. The reason this stuff can make you happy, sleep better, and lose weight is because it’s a precursor to serotonin in the brain (though most serotonin ends up in the gastrointestinal tract).
But before you buy some and start taking it every night, you should be aware of some of the problems with 5-HTP as well. Because it increases serotonin in the body, it is possible for your body to adapt to this. Another thing to be conscious of is something known as serotonin syndrome. This is when too much serotonin gets into and stays in the brain and could be fatal, so proper dosing is vital.
I’ve personally stopped taking 5-HTP because I have melatonin for sleep, I’m trying to gain weight, and depression isn’t an issue for me. It’s still a powerful tool, that when used responsibly, could be a great addition to your supplement stack. Another supplement for sleep, aside from melatonin, is L-thenaine. See my comparison of 5-HTP and L-theanine.