Can’t sleep? Try L-theanine for insomnia and better mental health.

self care for nervous system pandemic

 Can’t sleep? Anxious?

L-theanine – A nutrient for better sleep & mental health

Benefits at a glance

  • Anti-anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Supportive for deep restorative sleep
  • Depression like symptoms
  • Neuroprotective (crosses over blood brain barrier with its anti-inflammatory actions)
  • Used successfully for peripheral neuropathy (along with B12 and lipoic acid)
  • Enhances cognitive focus, alertness and focus (without the stimulation, therefore great for stressed out students at exam time)
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Chronic disease prevention
  • Increases glutathione in cells (glutathione is our master detoxification chemical)
  • Increases anti-oxidant defences
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Vasodilator to relax smooth muscles and blood vessels
  • Studied in chemotherapy treatments & found to be a supportive
  • Protective for our immune system (both for colds & flu plus protective against tumours)
  • Non-addictive
  • No negative side effects

Where is L-theanine found?

Tea!  This almost seems to good to be true doesn’t it? But it isn’t. I’m a very big fan of this amino acid which is found in tea.

It is the chemical in tea that has been described as making the “speedy” quality of caffeine, sloooower. Hence why having a cup of tea can feel comforting and not as peppie as having a coffee.

I have been prescribing this calming amino acid over the last few years for those who are in need of more than just a nurturing cup of tea for their mood, anxiety and insomnia. Which is why I wanted to write a summary for those who are interested in finding out more.

A huge benefit for mental health and focus

Anxiety and heightened stress response unfortunately seems to be part of life these days. As is chronic inflammation and immune dysregulation.

Therefore, L-theanine is a big bang for our buck so to speak. It is a non-addictive and a relatively cheap addition as a nutritional supplementation.

L-theanine has been studied extensively for his ability to reduce mental and physical stress and improve mental concentration, mood and cognition. I think about this supplement frequently for my HSC students who come into the clinic for pre exam support.  It has also been shown supportive in depression like symptoms and even schizophrenia, I imagine due to the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects.

However, for those in a downward spiral of relentless anxiety or insomnia, I recommend adding in an L-theanine supplement over just an everyday cup of tea.  In fact it may be important to avoid caffeine all together in this case.  An L-theanine supplement can either compounded in a powder (often I mix it with magnesium) or pure, in capsule form.

L-theanine supplementation along with tailored individualised advice, allows a person with anxiety or insomnia more of a window of time and tolerance. To regain their footing long enough in developing more ability to discovering the root cause of their anxiety or insomnia. This precious time allows for learning of additional resources for managing and thriving long term.  Lets face it, everything is possible with restorative healing quality sleep and reduced neuroinflammation (brain/nervous system inflammation). L-theanine can be one of the steps to getting there.  For more tips of gaining restorative sleep see here or here.

Tumour protective and supportive for Chemotherapy

In addition to the mental, emotional (and cardiovascular) benefits of L-theanine is has also been shown to be helpful in cancer treatment. In a journal article in Nature Review Immunology 2015, it was found to be useful as an adjunct to chemotherapy. It was shown to enhance the action of chemotherapy yet reduce the toxicity of treatment. It also reduced “chemo brain”, a common symptom of chemotherapy.

For more about this naturally occurring soothing chemical click here or here.

If you’re interested to find out if L-theanine supplementation is right for you, plus your specific personalised L-theanine dosage, come in for a consultation in clinic with me.

Category: mental health, immunity, inflammation, sleep

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