L-Theanine: A Natural Sleep Aid and Anxiety Reducer

L-Theanine: A Natural Sleep Aid and Anxiety Reducer

May 02, 2018

Studies have shown l-theanine to have some promising benefits for people who suffer from anxiety and sleep issues – and it may even provide some degree of neuroprotective support, according to scientists.

What is L-Theanine?

L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves and some types of mushrooms. It was first discovered in 1949 by Japanese scientists who isolated it from the gyokuro leaf, which is known to have a high concentration of the powerful amino acid.

L-theanine is found in high quantities in black, green and white teas, sometimes comprising anywhere from one to three percent of their total dry weight – which is a significant amount for any type of nutrient. And most growers have found that putting tea plants in the shade makes concentrations of l-theanine even higher.

However, you don’t need to drink tea to experience the benefits of l-theanine. Just one serving of our stimulant-free, high-potency Super Lean formula contains 25 mg of the amino acid – or a greater amount than you’d find in one cup of black tea.

L-Theanine for Anxiety

While more research is needed to fully understand how l-theanine exactly works, one study going back to 1999 showed that taking the amino acid induced alpha brain wave activity in humans.

In the study, participants had their brain waves tested within 40 minutes after having l-theanine administered. Interestingly, every volunteer experienced an increase in their alpha brain waves during that time, indicating they not only felt relaxed without being drowsy, but had it backed up through the brain wave testing.

About ten years later, another study on l-theanine and its effects on the mental states of humans was performed. Like the last study, volunteers’ brain waves were tested after taking a small dose of powdered l-theanine.

After 45 minutes, researchers ran some tests on participants, studying their brain waves to see if any noticeable changes had occurred during that time. Once the data was finally put together, scientists saw significant, immediate increases in alpha brain waves, and these increases continued over time. This led the study’s scientists to conclude that l-theanine helps in “achieving a relaxed but alert mental state via a direct influence on the central nervous system”.

What are Alpha Brain Waves?

If you’re like most people, you’re probably unfamiliar with alpha brain waves. Here’s an introduction so you can better understand what these findings mean.

Brain waves are weak electrical impulses that come from the brain and are classified by their frequency. These frequencies fall into four types of categories, including alpha waves, beta waves, delta waves and theta waves – all representing different states of mind in the person being tested.

When alpha waves are generated in the brain, which are measured through an electroencephalography (EEG) test, they are characterized by a feeling of relaxation and alertness. When most people describe being in an awake, alert and relaxed state, they will usually show higher levels of alpha waves during an EEG test.

This is why scientists have put so much emphasis on finding ways to help humans achieve this state naturally through these types of studies.

L-Theanine for Sleep

In addition to helping with anxiety, a study in 2015 showed that l-theanine also helps with sleep quality in a number of ways. According to the research, not only did l-theanine reduce night waking in those who participated in the study, it also resulted in volunteers feeling more rested the next morning.

What’s more, the study also discovered l-theanine to be a safe, effective and non-addictive treatment that didn’t exhibit any of the side effects of prescribed and over-the-counter sleep aids. Plus, these results were found to be true across generations, demonstrating benefits in both children and adults.

L-Theanine as a Neuroprotector

For years now, scientists have studied the effects of stress on the human body. When a person is under stress, excitotoxicity can occur, sometimes causing damage to a person’s neurons – and even putting a person at risk for neurodegenerative conditions.

These effects can result from chronic emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies, inflammation and other types of physical or psychological issues. However, l-theanine may help people who suffer from stress-related conditions by protecting them from aluminum-induced neurotoxicity in certain areas of the brain, according to a study from 2008.

With these findings, scientists could begin helping those with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions. Not to mention, they could help scientists find ways to reduce stress naturally, and potentially help those with stress-related conditions find a way to stay healthy.

Learn more about the NutraGlow Difference and visit our shop to see how we can help you lower stress, sleep better and live a happier, fuller life.

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