Sleep is a complex process that is vital to our health and well-being. Not everyone gets the right amount of sleep (1), which is down to various factors.
How you spend your day, what you do to wind down, and even the food and drink you consume can affect the quantity and quality of sleep you get. Many people resort to sleeping pills that contain a combination of ingredients designed to knock you out, but this isn't necessarily the best way to get a good night of sleep.
L-theanine is found naturally in substances such as green tea, and it can promote relaxation and sleep. It has been the subject of several studies relating to sleep. Although L-theanine supplements are generally safe, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking them, especially if you have a medical condition or take medications.
What is L-Theanine?
L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in green tea. It is also available as a dietary supplement. An amino acid is a molecule that is essential for the building of proteins. 20 different amino acids make up the proteins in the human body. L-theanine is one of these amino acids, and it has been shown to have a relaxing effect when used correctly as a supplement.
The recommended dose of L-theanine for sleep is usually 100-400 mg, and it can be taken up to two hours before bedtime. L-theanine has a mild sedative effect and can help you relax and fall asleep. It's also been shown to improve sleep quality, including reducing the number of times you wake up during the night. (5)
Using L-theanine to improve concentration is often done in combination with caffeine, and doses of up to 200mg of L-theanine and 100mg of caffeine are sometimes recommended. A doctor or other trained medical professional may recommend higher dosages for sleep, anxiety, or concentration.
L-theanine supplements are generally considered safe when used as directed, so if you're looking for a natural way to improve your sleep, L-theanine may be a good option. Unlike drugs that facilitate sleep, L-theanine works with your body and the natural sleep process to help you get the most out of your sleep. Sleeping pills often work contrary to the body's natural processes and can result in some side effects being observed. (6)
It is worth noting that a single dose of L-theanine will have a limited effect, and studies have generally measured results between 4 and 8 weeks.
How L-Theanine Can Help You Sleep
Anxiety is a common cause of sleeplessness, and while you may not be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you may still experience low levels of anxiety. L-theanine is an anxiolytic (7), which means it can help to reduce anxiety. L-theanine's ability to help you sleep is due to its ability to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Although the exact mechanism is not fully known, the basic effect of L-theanine on the brain is that it helps to prevent the binding of glutamate receptors with L-glutamic acid. Glutamate is a common amino acid in the brain and causes brain cells to become subject to an excitatory effect. (8)
As L-theanine might be able to reduce this effect, it can reduce the level of unwanted activity in your brain. In simple terms, it may help to stop you from overthinking, thereby allowing your brain to naturally drift off to sleep.
L-theanine for better sleep quality
L-theanine can help you fall asleep more easily, and it can also improve the quality of your sleep. L-theanine has been shown to increase sleep efficiency (9), which means you spend more time in deep sleep and less time in light sleep. L-theanine has also been shown to increase the amount of time spent in REM sleep (10), the stage of sleep where most dreaming occurs.
REM sleep is important for cognitive function and overall health, so L-theanine can help you feel more rested after a good night's sleep.
L-theanine and relaxation
L-theanine is also a relaxant, and its ability to promote relaxation has been shown in several studies. L-theanine can help to reduce heart rate (11) and stress levels (12). It can also help to improve mood and feelings of well-being (13), both of which are important for getting a good night's sleep.
L-theanine and Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain and helps control the body's sleep-wake cycle. L-theanine may increase serotonin levels in the body (14), leading to increased availability of melatonin (15), which can help to improve sleep quality. As seen above, L-theanine also helps reduce anxiety, which can help to increase the effectiveness of melatonin.
A melatonin L-theanine supplement can therefore help you fall asleep more easily and improve the quality of your sleep.
Supplements for Sleep
You might now be wondering how much L-theanine you need for sleep, and the answer may vary depending on your individual needs. However, a dose of around 200mg is a good starting point, especially when combined with melatonin to enhance the effect.
Healthycell REM Sleep is a supplement that incorporates both L-theanine and melatonin and a group of supporting ingredients to promote healthy sleep. With none of the side effects of sleeping medications, it's a great solution for getting a full night of rest.
REM Sleep also includes GABA, lemon balm extract, glycine, 5HTP, and magnesium.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is another supplement that can help to promote relaxation and sleep. (16) GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps inhibit nerve cells from firing, leading to a feeling of calm and relaxation. L-theanine is known to increase levels of GABA in the brain (17), so supplements that contain both L-theanine and GABA can be a great way to promote relaxation and sleep.
Lemon balm extract is a natural relaxant that can help to improve sleep quality. (18) It is often found in supplements designed to promote relaxation and sleep.
Glycine is an amino acid that can help to improve sleep quality. Glycine is known to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the amount of time spent in deep sleep. (19)
5HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a precursor to serotonin which, as discussed above, can be converted into melatonin. 5HTP can help increase serotonin levels in the body, leading to improved sleep quality. (20)
Magnesium is a mineral essential for many functions in the body, including sleep. Magnesium deficiency has been linked with poor sleep quality, so supplementing with magnesium may help to improve sleep problems. (21)
To obtain the equivalent levels of the ingredients found in Healthycell REM Sleep, you would need to consume up to 7 individual pills. REM Sleep is provided in individual doses of MICROGEL™, an advanced nutrient delivery system that is more effective than pills or capsules.
While pills may include other ingredients to enable them to be used, and capsules require an outer shell, MICROGEL™ includes no such additives. Easy to take directly from the pack or mixed with water or a smoothie, the nutrients are delivered directly to your digestive tract. Pills and capsules are much more difficult for your body to handle and process, so you don't always get the full benefit when you consume them.
REM Sleep is the only sleep gel on the market and supports all four stages of the human sleep cycle. Completely drug-free and made with non-habit-forming ingredients, you can safely use the supplement to get great sleep whenever you need it most.
With calming herbal extracts, nutrients to help you regulate your temperature, and ingredients that promote sleep hormone regulation, you'll sleep better than ever. Best of all, you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead!
Sleep well with L-Theanine
When choosing an L-theanine supplement, choosing a high-quality product from a reputable manufacturer that includes the other ingredients needed to get the results you want is important. REM Sleep is a safe and natural way to improve your sleep with L-theanine, which can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep when used correctly.