If you’re searching for a safe, natural alternative to sleeping medications or anti-anxiety medications, L-Theanine might be the solution for you. L-Theanine is a natural ingredient found in teas that can help you unwind and get ready for a good night’s sleep. L-Theanine can also help you de-stress after a long, hard day. Let’s explore how this simple and natural ingredient can do so much for you.
L-Theanine occurs in tea leaves and is an amino acid. Have you ever had that calm feeling after drinking tea? Maybe it’s the tea ritual, the warmth of a hot beverage, or the way tea makes you slow down to drink it and take a break from your day—but more than likely, it’s the L-Theanine in the tea that is helping you feel much calmer.
L-Theanine can help you unwind by decreasing your stress levels. It can help regulate your central nervous system when the sympathetic nervous system is activated by an acute source of stress. They have conducted studies where they measured the among of a stress immunoglobin in saliva and found that after taking L-Theanine, the stress levels were lower. The heart rate was also noticed to be lower.
This supplement can help you get ready for a good night’s sleep by helping your brain produce more of the relaxing type of brain waves. The brain wave that the brain produces when you’re calm, relaxed, and meditating is an alpha brain wave. This is also the kind of brain wave that your brain switches to when it’s getting ready to fall asleep. Most of the alpha brain wave are produced into regions of your brain, the parietal and the occipital regions.
L-Theanine can also help regulate the neurotransmitters in your brain that cause over-excitation. It decreases the amount of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, that can be released in your brain. Instead, it helps to release the calming neurotransmitters of GABA and glycine. These calming neurotransmitters are called inhibitory neurotransmitters, and they inhibit an imbalance with excitatory neurotransmitters from occurring. Having higher levels of GABA and glycine in the brain may also help you raise your levels of the happy neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy or elated. There is also some research that suggests that GABA and glycine may also increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter linked to reward, motivation, and pleasure-seeking behaviors. Some people find that they either need more of one than the other in order to feel their best.
You can expect to feel the calming and centering effects of L-Theanine about 30-40 minutes after you take it. It’s found in teas, some supplement mixes, and can also be taken in oral supplement and chewable form.
L-Theanine won’t make you fall asleep, and it’s not an herbal sedative (like valerian is used for). Instead, L-Theanine will get you in the right mindset to fully relax and let go of the worries that you have been facing all day. It will help you enter into a state where your mind is clearer, and it can help stop the flow of racing thoughts that sometimes keeps us from sleeping. It will prepare you to enter the stage of calmness that your body needs right before you fall asleep.
L-Theanine can also help you when you’re faced with an acute stressor and you need something to take the edge off. If you’re looking for something that can quickly and effectively calm your senses and help you feel less stress, without the unwanted side effects that many pharmaceutical medications carry, L-Theanine might be the right thing for you to try.