How to Use L-Theanine For Better Sleep
L-theanine is a common ingredient in various sleep formulations you’ll find around the internet. But what is it exactly, how does it benefit sleep and most importantly - does it work (and have scientific studies backing it?) Let’s dive in.
What Is L-Theanine?
We cover l-theanine in depth in our IMPOSSIBLE guide to l-theanine, but at it’s basic level, l-theanine is an amino acid that is typically not found in most diets. However, l-theanine is very common in teas and is known to have a profound effect on the brain and yes - even effects your sleep.
The Benefits of L-Theanine for Sleep
L-theanine is known to be included in several day time drinks to take the “edge off” caffeine drinks and other stimulants, but that’s not the best way to use it. In some cases - that can actually interfere with your sleep later on in the day.
We recommend using l-theanine primarily for sleep., This is because it has powerful properties that can help you have a restful night including:
- Improved relaxation within 30-60 minutes
- Small reduction in anxiety
- Small improvements in sleep quality (especially for high energy individuals)
- Large decrease in overall stress
- Decreases in severity of insomnia (again with individuals with especially high energy)
Because of the timing required with l-theanine, you should typically take your nightly dose about 30 minutes before you head off to sleep.
How Much L-Theanine Should You Take For Sleep?
Many sleep supplements contain trade amounts of l-theanine (20-50mg). While, it’s nice of those supplements to have it in their ingredient list, those doses aren’t backed by any studies and it’s likely not enough to actually help you get to sleep.
Typically, the recommended doses for l-theanine are between 100-200mg. It’s typically recommended to limit the upper limit consumption of l-theanine to 350mg/day.
Because l-theanine can be bitter, too much can make for a sour tasting dose and active other senses that may make it harder to sleep.
For that reason - we typically recommend 150-200mg of l-theanine per night as the ‘sweet spot’ for dosing.
L Theanine & Magnesium for Sleep
L-theanine is known to promote relaxation and decrease anxiety as mentioned above, but it doesn’t necessarily help you recover as an athlete.
In other words, it’s worth thinking about l-theanine as helping you “dim the lights” or “turn off your brain” - which is a common issue for elite athletes and high performers around the world.
This is where magnesium comes in.
Magnesium is one of the most effective (and natural) supplements you can take for sleep. You can read our full guide to magnesium and sleep here, but it promotes deep sleep and full body recovery.
When you combine l-theanine and magnesium - you get the best of both worlds. A gentle wind down at the end of the night and deep sleep dn strong recovery so you can wake up well rested and recovered.
L-Theanine in The Media
Andrew Huberman recommends l-theanine and magnesium in his sleep cocktail here.
Other Citations on L Theanine & Sleep
Other Sleep Related Articles
If you’re looking to optimize your sleep - check out these other articles all about recovery at your optimal level.