RESULTS: The results support the sleep-promoting effects of tryptophan. Tryptophan improved objective sleep efficiency and objective wake after sleep onset irrespective of allelic variation. There was a marginally significant improvement of subjective sleep quality in the 5-HTTLPR S-allele group but not in the L-allele group following tryptophan relative to placebo intake. In contrast, a significantly poorer sleep quality in the S-allele as opposed to the L-allele group in the placebo condition was not observed in the tryptophan condition.
CONCLUSIONS: Tryptophan augmentation promises to be a valuable treatment strategy for sleep impairments related to genetic deficiencies in 5-HT functioning.