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Theanine for Stress, Anxiety, Sleep & Focus

Theanine for Stress, Anxiety, Sleep & Focus

A 2024 poll from The American Psychiatric Association shows almost half (43%) of the American population say they feel more anxious than they did the previous year. 

Chronic anxiety and stress can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health and can ultimately increase the risk of developing serious health conditions. 

Both stress and anxiety involve similar symptoms, including difficulty concentrating, digestive issues, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping. When you have anxiety, your mind is so preoccupied with worry that when you want to pay attention to a task, you can’t bring yourself to focus. 

Chronic stress channels to lack of sleep and cognitive fatigue. Symptoms may include forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, thus making more frequent mistakes. 

Emotional instability and stress are the main disturbances that condition the learning process, affecting both teachers and students. Workers experiencing high levels of stress may be more liable to commit errors in their work.

Theanine also known as L-Theanine, is a natural supplement which can calm the central nervous system in the brain to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. By influencing certain nerve pathways and receptors Theanine helps decrease random thoughts and increase focus and attention without making you feel sedated or sleepy. 

Theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green and black tea. Amino acids are required for the synthesis of body protein and other important nitrogen-containing compounds, such as creatine, peptide hormones, and some neurotransmitters.

Published in the October 2019 journal Nutrients showed that “L-theanine supplements can elevate your levels of GABA, dopamine and serotonin, which promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety levels.” 

L-theanine may also be beneficial for those who experience increased blood pressure in stressful situations. One study found that people who usually experienced higher blood pressure after specific mental tasks found that L-theanine helped reduce an increase in blood pressure. 

While l-theanine is not specific for reducing high blood pressure, it may be effective in those who have anxiety related blood pressure and prevent a further increase.

A study published in the April 2021 Journal of Medicinal Foods researchers reported “L-theanine has been previously reported to have a neuroprotective effect. In conclusion, our study indicated that L-theanine may contribute to improving attention, thus enhancing working memory and executive functions.”

Taking Theanine before bed can help with sleep if you can’t shut off constant thoughts keeping you awake. Reduction of excitatory chemicals levels in the brain such as cortisol calms the mind and allows a natural sleep cycle. It can also be beneficial for those who wake up in the night and can’t get back to sleep. Best of all there is no sense of fatigue or grogginess the next morning.

Theanine is helpful for those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sleep better. A double-blind study looked at the effects of L-theanine on 98 boys ages 8 to 12 years old. A randomized group was given two 100 mg chewable tablets of L-theanine twice daily. The other group received placebo (sugar) pills. After 6 weeks, the group taking L-theanine had longer, more restful sleep. 

Theanine also helps with focus during the day. Brain scans of the participants in several studies showed changes in regions related to distraction, and improved scores on several cognitive tests.

Great for pets too when they are having anxiety or fear. It is equally helpful when pets become over excitable when going to the groomer or veterinarian or experiencing separation difficulties. You will find theanine often added to pet treats for calming benefits or you can open a capsule and add the appropriate amount to food or grated parmesan cheese!

Theanine can be used daily or occasionally / situationally. Great for doing presentations in front of an audience, testing, and flying on a plane etc. The dosage level varies per individual. It is always best to start at a low dose and gradually increase to see how you feel.

The FDA has classified L-Theanine as “generally recognized as safe.” This classification means that they believe this additive to be safe when people use it as the packaging suggests.

In these very stressful times Theanine could be just what you need!

Available at the Tree of Life Wellness Center for mail order call 508-336-4242 or stop by and pick some up!

*Always check with your health practitioner when adding in new supplements.

Jane Jansen – Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center

Host Holistic Healthline Radio

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