The insomnia of 'sleeping in a strange place': effects of l-tryptophane

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1977 Jul 18;53(2):131-3. doi: 10.1007/BF00426482.


Forty-two normal human subjects were studied in the sleep laboratory for one night each. Fourteen were given placebo at bedtime, 14 took l-tryptophane 1 g, and 14 took l-tryptophane 3 g. Both tryptophane groups had significantly lower sleep latency than the placebo group. The usually discarded 'first laboratory night' produces a mild situational insomnia in normal persons and thus can be useful in certain sleep studies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placebos
  • Sleep / drug effects
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Tryptophan / therapeutic use*


  • Placebos
  • Tryptophan