Accession Number : ADA139888

Title :   Evaluation of L-Tryptophan for Treatment of Insomnia: A Review.

Descriptive Note : Interim rept. Jan 83-Jan 84,


Personal Author(s) : Schneider-Helmert,D ; Spinweber,C L

PDF Url : ADA139888

Report Date : 31 Jan 1984

Pagination or Media Count : 14

Abstract : Sleep laboratory and outpatient studies of the hypnotic efficacy of the amino acid l-tryptophan are reviewed, with particular emphasis on evaluation of therapeutic effectiveness in the treatment of insomnia. In younger subjects, for whom insomnia is a situational disturbance and whose sleep problem consists solely of longer than usual sleep latencies, l-tryptophan is effective in reducing sleep onset time on the first night of administration in doses ranging from 1-15 grams. In more chronic, well-established sleep onset insomnia or in more severe insomnias characterized by both sleep onset and sleep maintenance problems, repeated administration of low doses of l-tryptophan over time may be requisite for therapeutic improvement to occur. In these patients, hypnotic effects appear late in the treatment period or, as shown in some studies, even after discontinuation of treatment. The improvement in sleep measures posttreatment has given rise to use of a treatment regimen known as 'interval therapy', in which l-tryptophan treatment alternates with an 1-tryptophan-free interval until improvement occurs. The absence of side effects and lack of development of tolerance in long-term use are important factors in the decision to embark upon a trail of 1-tryptophan treatment. In addition, 1-tryptophan administration is not associated with impairment of visuomotor, cognitive, or memory performance nor does it elevate threshold for arousal from sleep.

Descriptors :   *Tryptophan, *Insomnia, Chemotherapy, Sleep, Physiological effects

Subject Categories : Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE