I used to have pretty bad anxiety most of the day, especially before bed.
This usually resulted in trouble falling asleep. Couple that with a past history of insomnia, and you get a pretty shitty circadian rhythm.
Does this sound like you?
Keep reading. I might be able to help.
First, Let Me Just Say, “Fuck Insomnia”
I had terrible insomnia from age 16 to about age 23. Insomnia sucks. It slowly eats away at your soul, night after night, until you have no idea who you even are anymore…
Okay… that was a little melodramatic. Let’s talk solutions.
Thankfully, there are actionable changes you can make RIGHT NOW that can help get rid of your insomnia.
I was able to greatly reduce the occurrence of my insomnia over the years, and I’ve seen the biggest ROI from the following:
- cutting out caffeine entirely or by only drinking a small amount of caffeine before noon. Never at night.
- changing my lifestyle habits to those centered around fitness and health, and following a cleaner diet.
- reducing the time I spend in front of electronics late at night, as well as installing blue light filters on my work and personal computers. I use this app for Android.
- changing my sleeping period to get between 5 and 6 hours of sleep. I feel the most rested and alert after waking from this range.
Commit to the same and over time your insomnia will slowly get better.
Although all of these habits helped, one factor still remained that caused me to experience intermittent insomnia: my general daily anxiety and stress.
Usually, as bedtime approached, my mind would race with thoughts of what I had to do the next day and what I hadn’t accomplished during the current day. Anything I neglected would make me feel like a failure. I would worry constantly about things outside of my control. Instead of falling asleep, I’d just lay there mentally torturing myself.
In the past, I used melatonin to help me fall asleep. Melatonin was a godsend during college… which I have a funny story about that maybe I’ll share later. We’ll see…
For the past year or so, I’ve simply dealt with sleepless nights as they’ve happened, and fallen asleep relatively quickly on the other nights. I wasn’t even searching for sleep remedies when I stumbled upon 5-HTP and grabbed some off Amazon.
I first heard about 5-HTP from Victor over at Bold & Determined and decided to give it a try because I trust his advice. He has a fantastic site that you should check out too, where he details his own experiences and gives no-bullshit advice.
Victor Pride has my utmost gratitude for showing me exactly HOW to make a professional site that helps others. He and Elliott Hulse were the two kicks in my ass that I needed for me to come up with Masculinity Rising as my medium for helping you.
This may or may not happen to you, but my first personal experience with 5-HTP went a little something like this:
I took a single 100 mg capsule of 5-HTP on an empty stomach, about an hour before bed. Around 40 minutes after taking the capsule, I was walking through the house, frantically worrying about tomorrow’s to-do-list. Then the 5-HTP kicked in. My mind immediately cleared, like a blank slate.
No anxiety. No worry.
Just one, steady thought after another about what I needed to pack for the next morning. My mind had clarity. And it felt awesome. That night I was able to fall asleep within minutes because my mind wasn’t racing.
It honestly freaked me out from how sudden, dramatic, and noticeable the effects were.
What The Hell Is 5-HTP?
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid and chemical precursor in the biosynthesis of serotonin and melatonin, both neurotransmitters (essentially hormones released in the brain). Serotonin helps keep your moods stable and happy. Melatonin helps regulate your circadian rhythms — your body’s internal clock which handles sleep cycles.
Basically, what this means is that ingesting 5-HTP causes it to be absorbed by the bloodstream. It then crosses the blood-brain barrier where it increases the synthesis (production) of serotonin, and ultimately melatonin.
By increasing the levels of these two hormones, you improve your general mood and sleep patterns. Thus, less anxiety and insomnia in my case.
Ever since I began taking 5-HTP, this has been my normal response, if not to a slightly smaller degree. I don’t experience that sudden rush of mental silence, but I’m also not worrying as much day to day anymore.
This isn’t entirely from taking 5-HTP to be honest. I have been making it a habit to be more conscious of my thoughts over the previous three months. I’m tuning more of the negative out, and focusing as much energy as I possibly can into my goals and positive life experiences.
So far I believe 5-HTP works slightly better on an empty stomach, at least in regards to its bedtime sedation effects. The anti-anxiety benefits are still there, regardless. I’m going to continue testing this theory since there are mixed opinions about the difference in efficacy when taken on an empty stomach vs. with a meal.
Give It A Try & Tell Me What You Think
Try 5-HTP for yourself and share your results below.
Taking 5-HTP along with vitamin D has drastically changed the quality of my sleep, my mental clarity, and my overall sense of well-being.
I believe it’s a pretty solid supplement to add to your stack, especially if you’re searching for a natural sleep aid or anti-anxiety remedy.
Over and out.