Papers And Originals

Plasma Trytophan and Sleep

Br Med J 1974; 4 doi: (Published 07 December 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;4:564
  1. C. N. Chen,
  2. R. S. Kalucy,
  3. M. K. Hartmann,
  4. J. H. Lacey,
  5. A. H. Crisp,
  6. J. E. Bailey,
  7. E. G. Eccleston,
  8. A. Coppen


    Free, bound, and total plasma tryptophan (F.P.T., B.P.T., and T.P.T.) levels have been measured throughout the night in six young female volunteers. All-night polygraphic sleep recordings were also made. No direct temporal relationship was found between plasma tryptophan levels and specific sleep stages. The mean F.P.T. levels, however, were found to have a positive correlation with rapid-eye-movement (R.E.M.) sleep and a negative correlation with non-R.E.M. sleep. An inverse relationship existed between the F.P.T. and B.P.T. levels. There appeared to be a diurnal variation in F.P.T. levels, with high readings in the first half of the night.