Are you having trouble sleeping because of stress or anxiety? Have your sleep problems appeared suddenly or gotten worse since you entered menopause? You can find many natural sleep remedies on the market as single supplements or as part of a sleep formula, and one of them is L-theanine.
What is L-theanine?
L-theanine is an amino acid that is not produced in the human body and isn’t essential for health. However, it is found naturally in black tea, green tea, and mushrooms and is also available in supplement form to help with a variety of health concerns.
The concentration of L-theanine found in tea plants (Camellia sinensis) varies among the plant’s leaves, roots, and other structures as well as through its growth period. However, the highest concentrations are found in the roots.
A few studies have indicated that L-theanine may have an impact on certain brain chemicals, including dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals are involved in sleep, emotions, cortisol, and mood, and so researchers have evaluated the potential benefits of L-theanine in reducing stress, regulating mood, and balancing cortisol with the goal of understanding how it may assist with sleep problems.
L-theanine and sleep in menopause
Insomnia and other sleep problems commonly occur in perimenopause and menopause for a variety of reasons. Typically they are related to hormone fluctuations, stress, anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
Using L-theanine before bedtime may help you relax enough to fall asleep easier and sleep more deeply. In one eight-week study, individuals with a generalized anxiety disorder who took 450 to 900 mg of L-theanine every day reported an improvement in sleep satisfaction.
Stress and anxiety keep many women awake at night. In a review of five controlled trials involving 104 participants, four trials showed that the use of L-theanine effectively reduced stress and anxiety.
Twenty-one women and nine men participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study to determine the effects of taking 200 mg L-theanine daily for four weeks. The use of L-theanine resulted in an improvement in depression, anxiety, and sleep scores. More specifically, scores for sleep disturbance, sleep latency, and the need for sleep medication declined among L-theanine users.
In both animals and people, L-theanine improved sleep at doses of 250 mg and 400 mg. When the researchers used a lower dose of 200 mg, L-theanine reduced resting heart rate, which indicates it has an ability to promote relaxation.
How to use L-theanine
L-theanine is available as a solo supplement or along with other ingredients (vitamin B6, melatonin, 5-HTP, inositol) in products designed to help with sleep, stress, anxiety, and depression. Take according to package directions or consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best dose for your needs.
L-theanine is a safe natural remedy that may help with insomnia and other sleep disturbances in perimenopause and menopause. It works well along with other natural sleep aids such as melatonin, vitamin B6, 5-HTP, and inositol for quality sleep and reduced stress and anxiety.