We get asked a lot which is better? 5-HTP or Melatonin. 5-HTP and Melatonin are both hormones but they do different things.
Melatonin is stored in the pineal gland and is only released when there is low light. Melatonin seems to work best when people have low melatonin levels, not if their levels are normal. It is useful for jet lag, ADHD, insomnia.
5-HTP comes from L-tryptophan and increases seratonin production and seratonin increases melatonin production in turn. 5-HTP bypasses the brain's light-regulation system and crosses the blood-brain barrier. As it increases seratonin levels and not just melatonin levels, it has other positive mood enhancing benefits like feeling happier and more relaxed.
Overall, it seems that 5-HTP can help you get a deeper sleep (because it increases your REM sleep) and can help you stay asleep if you have problems waking up and getting back to sleep. It also makes you feel generally happier. Melatonin seems best suited for specific situations and will not make you feel tired unless you are already low on melatonin.
Talk to your Health Care provider for more information on what might work best for you and always check with your pharmacist to ensure you will have no contraindications from medication and supplement use.