Learn how to make your own picamilon capsules

2017 UPDATE Summary on Picamilon:
In late 2015, the FDA took action on dietary supplements containing picamilon and is no longer considering this ingredient a supplement. Several warning letters were sent to vendors selling products with this ingredient.


Finding a solution to manage the persistent stress and anxiety brought on by life’s ever increasing list of duties and challenges can be difficult. Some individuals who suffer under the weight of these feelings want help but don’t know where to turn.

Luckily, there is a healthy, natural approach to combating an increased sense of anxiety and high levels of stress, a supplement combination called Picamilon.

Picamilon: What is it?

Picamilon is a dietary supplement formed by the combination of Niacin and GABA.

GABA, a scientifically classified amino acid that plays the part of an essential neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, helps to decrease heightened levels of neurotransmitter activity.

Niacin, an organic compound necessary to the function of the human body, helps to protect the body’s neurons against the loss of blood flow. This compound also makes it possible for GABA to easily cross the blood-brain barrier, something it cannot normally do.

Since Picamilon easily crosses the blood-brain barrier, the user feels the effects of the supplement faster and in a much more efficient manner that with some other supplements. It also works much more effectively at increasing cerebral blood flow than either Niacin or GABA do on their own. [2]

Picamilon’s FDA Crackdown in 2015

In late 2015, the FDA banned Picamilon from being sold as a dietary supplement. Many speculate that this was done by the FDA to set a precedent. This would then make it easier to ban future synthetic compounds or NDI (new dietary ingredients) from being sold as dietary supplements.

This theory is built on the foundation that picamilon wasn’t proven to be harmful, yet the government chose to target it.

In late 2016, the FDA then targeted vinpocetine, which is usually found in its synthetic form. Unlike picamilon, vinpocetine can be derived from a natural source: vincamine, which is an extract from a periwinkle plant. However, most sources are synthetic since it’s far cheaper to synthesize this product.

What’s troublesome about the FDA’s vinpocetine proposal is that they do not target the product’s potentially synthetic sources, but instead, claim that vincpoetine is marketed as a drug.

The FDA claims vinpocetine is “reportedly” marketed as preventing motion sickness, seizure disorders, hearing and eye disorders, and other medical conditions.

However, this isn’t the case if you browse stores in the top Google search results. For example, Swanson and PipingRock both market vinpocetine for its memory and concentration benefits.

Where to buy Picamilon in 2018?

There are only a few online stores left that sell this product. You may find several, but the only one I found that was trustworthy is NewMind. They third party test their products and will send you the lab results upon request.

LiftMode, the sister company of NewMind, is forced to sell picamilon as a research product due to the ingredient’s expulsion from the definition of a dietary supplement.

Another option, although pricier, is CosmicNootropic. I’m unsure if they conduct third-party testing, but they receive plenty of praise on reddit. This branded source of picamilon is from Russia and seems to be sold as a drug.

Picamilon Benefits

Picamilon works by crossing the blood-brain barrier so that it can be broken down into its base components of Niacin and GABA. Many researchers believe that GABA deficiency plays a large role in the development of depression and panic disorders.

However, since GABA cannot cross the blood-brain barrier alone, the addition of the supplement Picamilon can solve such deficiencies.

Picamilon for Anxiety

Once this supplement hydrolyzes, the compounds promptly begin performing their different beneficial functions. The activation of the human body’s GABA receptors which provide the calming effects desired when dealing with anxiety, is one such example.

There are many positive picamillon side effects including anxiety reliefPicamilon also helps to increase blood flow to and within the brain, which subsequently provides another tranquilizing effect. This effect counteracts different physiological symptoms and is especially effective in individuals suffering from varying states of anxiety.

Unlike other methods of dealing with anxiety, Picamilon avoids the commonly associated sedative effects such as drowsiness and lethargy. [3]

The compound Niacin works to vasodilate, or to widen, the blood vessels for easier circulation which also decreases blood pressure, associated pains, and the chronic migraines many anxiety sufferers experience.

Additionally the supplement works to decrease other symptoms associated with high stress levels such as poor concentration, fatigue, restlessness, and irritability.

Other benefits of Picamilon include [1,2,3]:

  • Improves muscle strength retention and proper function
  • Promotes eye health
  • Lowers “bad cholesterol” or LDL levels
  • Can assist in improving ability to sleep

Picamilon Side Effects

Surprisingly, Picamilon has very few, if any negative effects on humans. Studies have shown that it produces no allergenic, teratogenic, embryotoxic or carcinogenic effects on subjects given the subject over those given placebo supplements. [2]

Unlike some other anxiolytic supplements, Picamilon is also shown to be less likely to present problems related to tolerance buildup, withdrawal, and addiction. [3]

See our list of top 6 stress relief supplements.

Also noted in similar studies, ” The use of Picamilon in depression, along with moderate doses of tricyclic antidepressants, enabled the doses of the latter to be reduced. In patients with alcoholism, Picamilon abolished many withdrawal symptoms, especially apathy, weariness and lethargy. The patients later become more tranquil, less fussy and anxious, and their working capacity improved.” [2]

Picamilon Dosage

As mentioned above, Picamilon is considered a very safe supplement, with a low chance of increasing liver toxicity. The standard dosage range tends to fall between 50-300 mg per day, which can be split throughout the day. Picamilon tends to work best when taken on an empty stomach and its effects will usually last from 2 to 4 hours. [4]

Like with many supplement, the best way to determine your ideal dosage is to start at the smallest recommended amount and increase from there. Often this will mean taking a single capsule, usually around 150 mg, but this supplement can also be purchased in bulk powder form if you would like to customize your dosage.

Picamilon can be found online, if you decide that you would like to experience the benefits of this supplement firsthand.

Picamilon Sources

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picamilon
  2. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag97/july-lbn297.htm
  3. http://nootriment.com/picamilon-side-effects/
  4. http://nootriment.com/picamilon-dosage/

Insomnia and Natural Supplement Remedies

insomniaSleep is one of the body’s basic requirements. At some point in their lives, most people have gotten too little sleep and felt the effects the following day. But what happens when you miss sleep on a daily basis? If you’re someone that can never seem to get to sleep at night or can’t stay asleep for the requisite 7-9 hours, you may have insomnia. Insomnia and the resulting sleep deprivation are growing conditions in our modern society. The tricky thing about insomnia, however, is that it’s not a single problem. Each case of insomnia can have its own unique set of causes.

What Can Cause Insomnia?

Even though it can be caused by a number of factors, there are some common causes. They can be grouped into 3 general categories.

Psychological Causes: Stress, anxiety, depression or recent trauma can all keep your mind in a space that’s not conducive to sleep. These are often the most common causes. The mind can start racing at night when all the lights are off and there’s no stimuli fighting for our attention. 

Medical Causes: Many medical conditions can cause insomnia. These can include, but aren’t limited to respiratory problems like allergies and asthma, neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, or chronic pain from an injury. 

Environmental Causes: These are often the most preventable and include inconsistent sleep habits, late night computer or TV viewing or working “graveyard” shifts. Something as simple as having a poorly designed sleep environment can cause insomnia too. A room that’s too bright, noisy or uncomfortable can prevent you from fully settling. 

The Dangers of Sleep Drugs

sleep drug dangersBig pharmaceutical companies are constantly pushing ads for drugs like Ambien and Lunesta to help treat insomnia. Of couse, there are drawbacks to using drugs this strong. The nightmares people report from Ambien, the number one sleep aid, are very real. On the FDA’s Ambien medication guide the warning states: 

“After taking AMBIEN, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night. Reported activities include: driving a car (“sleep-driving”), making and eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, sleep-walking”  

Clearly there’s a case to avoid strong sleep-inducing drugs. 

Treat Insomnia Naturally

So, how can you combat insomnia without worrying about waking up in a McDonald’s drive-thru? The process starts by analyzing your environment. Is your room dark and quiet? Is your bed comfortable? Make sure you’re not watching TV or using the computer too close to bed time. After you’ve addressed these issues, the next step is to look into some supplements to help you fall asleep faster and get natural, sustained, restful sleep.

Supplements to Treat Insomnia

  • L-theanine: This supplement has fantastic benefits for both day and night users. The same effects that help improve a calm state while awake and combat stress can also help ease the mind and body before bed. A placebo-controlled Japanese study showed a 70% improvement in a number of sleep quality factors after using l-theanine.  
  • Choline: Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that has significantly higher production during REM cycles. Inadequate levels of acetylcholine have been linked to sleep deprivation in multiple studies. Taking choline before bed can help ensure you’re getting the right amount of acetylcholine production during the night.

  • GABA: GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has been directly linked to insomnia. In general, it works by slowing down certain parts of the brain at the right time so when levels are low, the brain will keep working just as it was during the waking state and it’s harder to fall asleep and get the right amount of deep sleep required to fully recover.

  • Melatonin: Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced in the body, is nature’s sleep regulator. At night, undisturbed by outside light sources like TV, Computers, Phones, Lamps, etc the body raises melatonin production and you get sleepy. Obviously, this can become problematic in the modern world where people are glued to a screen all the time. Without natural light signals, the body doesn’t fully know when to “shut down” and technically thinks it’s still daytime.  Melatonin supplements before bed can help offset this and kickstart the sleep process.

Each of these supplements can be an effective weapon against insomnia. What’s even more important is that they can each be used safely and won’t leave you feeling hungover or groggy the next day. If a proper supplementation regime is combined with proper sleep habits, stress management, and nutrition and exercise, most common insomnia cases would likely be eliminated.


The Relax Stack for Stress Reduction, Relaxation, and Sleep

Kick your tired feet up and relax with this stack.

The Relax Stack is perfect for taking the edge off after a long day and for experiencing deeper, more restful sleep.  Its unique combination of mind-calming and sleep-inducing ingredients can reduce stress and leave you better rested and ready to face the next day.

If you’re suffering from a lack of sleep, stressing out from working hard, or just needing to chill out, the Relax Stack will have you feeling better in no time.

What’s in the Relax Stack?

The Relax Stack contains Rhodiola, Ashwandandha, GABA, and melatonin.  Some of these supplements may sounds familiar; melatonin is widely used by itself as a sleep supplement, and GABA is known for its stress-relieving properties.

While Rhodiola and Ashwandandha may not sound familiar, they are just as effective as any other supplement in the stack.  Rhodiola is a plant whose roots can be used to reduce mental fatigue, and Ashwandandha is another plant whose roots and berries are effective in combating anxiety and sleep deficiency.

How does the Relax Stack Work?

Want to be this relaxed?

The stack helps to relieve stress and mental fatigue that can keep you awake at night.  GABA helps to get rid of mental stress, while Rhodiola can make the effects of physical stress less apparent.

It might seem counterintuitive to take supplements that reduce fatigue in order to sleep better, but fatigue and sleep are not the same thing [1]. Physical fatigue can actually cause a lack of sleep due to the toll it takes on the body and on the mind. Less fatigue means less stress, and an easier time drifting off to sleep.

The anti-anxiety effects of Ashwandandha’s will help to clear your mind of worries.  Once in a relaxed state, your body can respond better to melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles.  Increased melatonin levels tell your body that it’s time to sleep, and produce a natural, refreshing state of restfulness.

How to Use the Relax Stack

For maximum benefits, all of the elements of the Relax Stack should be taken in proper dosages.

Individuals should take one gram of GABA and 3 milligrams of Melatonin once per day.  The plant-based supplements Rhodiola and Ashwandandha should be taken twice a day, unlike the other ingredients.  They are most effective at 250 and 500 milligrams per dose, respectively.  The stack also comes with stevia and citric acid to help mask any unpleasant flavors the supplements may have. Individuals should use 100 milligrams of stevia and one gram of citric acid per day.

When taken in these proportions, all of the ingredients of the Relax Stack provide a gentle and effective way to sleep better and feel better as well.


1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9256516

Phenibut vs GABA

While Phenibut and GABA are different supplements, they are very closely related to one another. These two supplements are both used for effects that range from cognitive enhancement to stress reduction and even to relaxation. In fact, anyone who is looking to help improve or balance out their moods, or even improve their effectiveness in the gym might want to seriously consider these supplements. Of course, this raises the ultimate question: Which of these supplements is better?

GABA Benefits:

There are many positive side effects of gaba including boosting mood

GABA, or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, is an amino acid which is produced within the brain from glutamate and vitamin B6. While GABA is consideredan amino acid, it is not found in the proteins of the food you eat or in your own body’s store. Almost all of the GABA in your body must be synthesized from stored glutamate. [3]

This supplement is also a neurotransmitter, a powerful brain chemical. In fact, it is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter within the body that allows for balancing out other chemicals and processes that may cause neuron over excitability. When your body lacks GABA, chances are the neurons in your brain will fire off too quickly which contrary to how it sounds, will keep you from focusing, cause anxiety, and worsen depression.[3]

The primary benefit of GABA is to help balance out normal moods. Additionally, it helps to directly regulate muscle tone throughout the body and even supports the production of hormones that are needed to build muscle. GABA also helps neurons within the brain communicate more efficiently with each other. It is also reported to help with mental clarity, attention, and focus. [3]

What is Phenibut?

Phenibut is essentially a derived formulation of GABA. It is GABA plus a phenyl group molecule ring. The reason for this addition is that it helps the supplement to cross over the blood-brain barrier. The main problem with pure GABA is the fact that it is much more difficult for it to cross over this barrier and actually enter into the central nervous system. [4]

Phenibut Benefits

Once Phenibut gets into the nervous system, it has many of the same effects as GABA. Thus, Phenibut helps to calm the mind and leads to relaxation, reduction of stress, and a balancing of moods. It has also been shown to increase the body’s levels of dopamine. [1]

There are many positive phenibut side effects including relaxation
Phenibut helps you relax and unwind.

The main draw of phenibut is its potency. The fact that it absorbs better than pure GABA means that the effects are much stronger and take significantly less time to notice. [4]

It is also worth noting that phenibut is a little more versatile in its uses than ordinary GABA boosters. In fact, many body builders and weight lifters use Phenibut powder as a pre-workout supplement because it helps them to maintain mental clarity and enhances concentration and focus during their workouts. [4]

GABA Side Effects

Both supplements do have possible side effects that can usually be avoided with proper usage. However, if you’re worried about possible complications, here is a side-by-side comparison to help you determine if either one has a negative effect that could be a deal breaker.

When it comes to GABA, there are a few things to keep in mind. Always keep to the recommended dose, for one. While not guaranteed, some reports have shown that high dosages can lead to skin flushing or tingling. [3]

More importantly however would be to avoid GABA if you suffer from serious depression. GABA is mainly used to calm down heavy anxiety, but may trigger an episode in those suffering from severe forms of depression. If you suffer from this type of depression, a serotonin booster may be more useful than a GABA booster. [3]

Phenibut Side Effects

Along with the side effects that a GABA booster may present, phenibut has been reported to be somewhat habit forming and can cause withdrawal symptoms in heavy users. This can include nervousness and shakiness, psychomotor agitation, feeling easily annoyed and irritated, fatigue, anxiety, poor appetite, heart palpitations, nausea, insomnia, and feeling tense. [4]

These effects can usually be avoided by taking a recommended dose or lower and not using it more than a few times a week at most. If you do experience these side effects they are usually reported as lasting 5-7 days. [4]

Conclusion—Phenibut or GABA?

So which supplement is better? Phenibut is certainly much more powerful and also faster acting. Since this supplement is better able to cross over the blood-brain barrier, this could be a very important factor. However, the possible side effects of misuse are also a little steeper.

In contrast, GABA is less potent and should probably be taken with other supplements to ensure that it has a ‘carrier’ in order to enable it to enter into the central nervous system.

There is no one best answer to this question, as there are numerous factors at play here and what works for some will not necessarily work for all. As long as you stick to recommended dosages and use caution, either supplement is a perfectly viable option. However, for combating pure anxiety, phenibut comes out ahead for its potency and versatility.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11830761
  2. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/mar2011_The-Chemistry-of-Calm_01.htm
  3. http://overcomingyouranxiety.net/naturalanxietyremedies/gaba-for-anxiety/
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenibut

GABA + Glucosamine Plus to Soothe Pain for Better Relaxation


gaba for good sleepSadly, too many people suffer from pain these days. This suffering is perhaps related to the fact that we are leading much busier and over-stressed lives where it seems that we have barely enough time to do all that we must and never enough to do what we should. This business can also lead to a higher level of nervousness and an inability to relax. When both of these problems are combined together it can be very difficult to eliminate pain if you cannot effectively relax. The answer to this problem may just be the combination of GABA and Glucosamine Plus. Continue reading “GABA + Glucosamine Plus to Soothe Pain for Better Relaxation”

Top Supplements to Help Reduce Stress

nootropics to help reduce stressMost of the nootropic supplements focus on cognitive functions such as memory, learning, and reason. However, many of these supplements have also proven to be effective in the area of stress relief. Nootropics with this effect are able to improve one’s mood, make them feel relaxed, and lessen worry-related symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at how these supplements work to reduce stress and what are some of the most effective nootropics in this regard.

How Supplements Work to Reduce Stress

Stress can be caused by one or more factors: mental, physical, work, finances, or other day-to-day problems. Scientifically, stress is the result of a deficiency of GABA (gamma aninobutryic acid) which is the brain’s natural sedative. When GABA levels are low, nerve cells become overactive, and nervousness and stress result. In extreme cases, this deficiency may cause panic attacks.

Supplements that help to reduce stress therefore work by increasing the levels of GABA in the brain and therefore make one feel more relaxed and at ease. Continue reading “Top Supplements to Help Reduce Stress”

A Beginner’s List of Relaxation Supplements


In this always-on-the-go world, relaxation seems like a pipedream. High levels of stress can lead to issues like anxiety and insomnia. Fortunately, there are a number of natural products and supplements that can help aid in relaxation which in turn will make it easier to fall asleep. Since being able to relax and to sleep is extremely beneficial to overall health and well-being, why not consider some of these all-natural supplements?relaxation supplements


Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is an amino acid that is produced in the brain from glutamate (another amino acid) and thiamine (vitamin B6). Generally, people who are having difficulty resting and sleeping have an over-active or “excited” brain. GABA acts as the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the body, meaning that it helps to reduce this excitability. There are a number of other benefits to this supplement including support for muscle-building chemicals.

Valerian Root:

Valerian root is a perennial herb that acts as a non-addictive natural sedative. This supplement also helps to support a healthy neurotransmitter balance. Clinical research has shown valerian root to have a number of benefits including the ability to reduce nervousness, tension, and anxiety. Valerian root may also be able to help alleviate mild to moderate mood swings and insomnia. For some users, valerian root requires 10 to 15 days of continued use before noticeable effects occur.


The main benefit of 5-HTP supplementation is an increased production of serotonin. This occurs both in the brain and the liver. Since serotonin is reported to have a wide range of effects on the brain, 5-HTP is often used to help deal with addictive behavior, anxiety, mild depression, and relaxation/sleep issues. It is thought that stress and poor-eating habits actually cause the body to release higher levels of serotonin. Supplementation with 5-HTP can help to restore a healthy balance, allowing the body to more easily relax.


Melatonin has long been thought to be one of the most effective supplements for sleep and relaxation. Melatonin plays a vital role in controlling and restoring the natural circadian rhythms of the body. Many people who are engaged in stressful work or who have irregular schedules find that this supplement helps to induce relaxation and improve sleeping patterns.

Cycling Your Sleep Supplements

There are many people who find themselves having to cycle their sleep supplements because they discover that they are slowly building up a tolerance to their current sleeping supplement. This results in them having to increase the dosage which also means that they end up having to purchase more of that supplement in order to accommodate for them using it up quicker from the higher dosages. Unfortunately this also means dishing out more money so what most people do is switch between sleeping supplements. However, you should also cycle off of sleeping supplements so that your body does not become dependent upon them and your melatonin production does not get negatively effected. Not cycling off of sleeping supplements can affect your body’s natural production of melatonin if the sleep supplement you are taking contains melatonin.

Popular Sleep Supplementscycling sleep supplements

The most common sleeping supplements that people will cycle between are theanine and melatonin, GABA and valerian or phenibut and x-dream. Theanine is an amino acid that can be found in green tea. It has a variety of health benefits and is considered to be an antagonist to caffeine and other elements that can stimulate the brain and central nervous system. It is said that theanine has a calming effect that helps the mind focus and in some cases become sedated. It is very helpful for stress and anxiety because it provides the stimulation of GABA which is what creates a feeling of calmness and well being. Melatonin on the other hand is a hormone that is naturally made by the pineal gland which is a small pea sized gland that is located in the center of the brain. Melatonin is stimulated by light and darkness which is what regulates the sleep cycle.

When light is present melatonin tells the body to stay awake but when darkness comes melatonin helps the body to get to sleep. Melatonin supplements are readily available and in addition to helping you sleep can also alleviate low moods and anxiety. GABA is another amino acid and is the second most prevalent neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA has an effect that can help to calm overly active nerve impulses. This can make a person feel more relaxed and give them a sense of well being  Without this neurotransmitter a person would never be relaxed and constantly be on edge and always anxious. No matter which sleeping supplements you are taking it is important that even if you do not cycle between them that you cycle off of them.

Failing to cycle off of sleeping supplements can result in addiction which can lead to plethora of new problems that are both physical and mental. Usually sleeping supplements are used to help regulate your sleep schedule if it was out of whack for one reason or another, such as jetlag. So you will not want to stay on them for long anyway especially since sometimes they can result in you being overly tired the next day which can be dangerous if you have a long drive ahead or you work in a job where you have to operate machinery. It is generally recommended that you cycle off of sleeping supplements every four to six weeks.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18032103
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7419665
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19766184

Which Is Better For Relaxation, Phenibut or GABA?

Phenibut and GABA may sound like obscure ingredients, but rest assured these two supplements may be the answer to your everyday stress and anxiety. So, what exactly is a phenibut and what’s so great about this GABA stuff? Let’s find out.

GABArelaxation supplements

Very similar to an amino acid, GABA is the chief inhibitory transmitter in humans and plays a role in a number of things ranging from anxiety levels to muscle tone regulation. Phenibut is a derivative of the naturally occurring inhibitory transmitter GABA that crosses the blood-brain barrier and may have better results than GABA alone. Both are very similar in the benefits they provide, but different in their composition. Phenibut is the more expensive option and has consistently performed better than GABA in most research, but there is one downfall to the derivative; users build a high tolerance quickly.

While GABA may not produce as strong as an effect it has been shown to perform consistently with the same dosage over a long period of time. In contrast phenibut research tends to lean towards the notion that a tolerance can be built rather quickly towards the supplement. Additionally, increasing your phenibut dosage too rapidly to seek the results you were experiencing before can lead to health risks as well as developing an extremely high and unnatural tolerance.

Generally GABA supplements have been shown to be the safer and more consistent supplement in recent years, although the derivative phenibut has consistently outperformed its counterpart in most clinical studies. While this may lead some to jump on the phenibut train regardless of the high risk of building a strong tolerance others will choose the “slow and steady” route with GABA alone. Ultimately the choice is up to the individual and should be made with careful consideration for both the beneficial and adverse effects involved.

Phenibut’s High Bioavilibility

Unlike GABA, phenibut has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier which may be the factor that separates the two supplements in effectiveness. Because GABA is synthesized in the brain and doesn’t cross this blood-brain barrier the power of its effectiveness as an oral supplement may be limited.

Simply put, phenibut is the more effective option for relaxation when it comes to the two supplements but it does have its drawbacks. With a high risk of developing a strong tolerance it is strongly recommended that users cycle phenibut. Some even go so far as to cycle off phenibut with GABA so as to extend the calm and relaxing demeanor that can come from these two supplements.

Phenibut vs GABA

In the end the choice is yours but if I had to determine a verdict in regards to which is better for relaxation I would say start with GABA and move on to phenibut as you progress. As always pay attention to your supplements packaging for dosing information and pay attention to your bodies individual response.


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23391959
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22891435


L-Theanine and GABA for Sleep

Taking theanine and gaba for sleep is beneficial for everyone, even your cat!

Insomnia is a fairly large but common problem. The amount of input our brains are forced to deal with on a daily basis is far beyond that of 50 years ago.

Now, with mobile phones, constant internet connections, social media notifications and DVRs with hundreds of channels, it’s hard for many people to properly disconnect enough to get a good night’s sleep.

The importance of good sleep cannot be understated. Sleep deficiency has been linked to problems ranging from heart health to weight issues. It can also have a very negative impact on your mood and cognitive performance.

So how are we to deal with this sleep problem? A natural approach to improving sleep quality is to get enough exercise, eat a healthy diet, and reduce the sources of stress in the environment.

Even if all those pieces are in place, it can still feel like not enough so additional help may be needed. Natural supplements are a great way to help you get to sleep. Two popular supplements with synergistic properties that help with relaxation and sleep quality is the l-theanine and GABA combination.

L-Theanine and GABA as Sleep Aids

L-theanine, also simply known as theanine, is an amino acid naturally found in green tea. It has effective daytime use as a supplement to help with cognition and concentration. The main function of l-theanine is to inhibit certain neurotransmitters to reduce anxiety and increase dopamine levels.

The anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects of theanine translate well into nighttime use as well. Simply being more calm and less high-strung in the evening can help you get to sleep faster.

A study was performed in Japan on 22 men, about half were daytime workers and the other half were students. The group was given a placebo before sleep for six days and then l-theanine after that. When the study concluded, 70% of the participants reported more sleep efficiency, better mood before sleep, and less nightmares.This is all without the morning drowsiness that can accompany other sleep aids. [1]

For coffee drinkers, an animal study showed that l-theanine can help counteract caffeine-induced sleep disturbance. [2] Theanine was also shown to improve sleep quality in boys with attention issues. [3]

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it serves to slow down certain parts of the central nervous system and helps regulate nervous system excitability [4]. In addition to being a critical factor in maintaining ideal cognitive well being, GABA deficiencies have been linked to sleep problems.

Studies show that insomnia is caused by low GABA levels. [5] When there is not enough GABA present in the brain, the areas that GABA slows down keep on going and the activity doesn’t decrease as it normally would when the body winds down. GABA has been shown to positively impact deep sleep, the most important type of sleep we need. So even if you can fall asleep, a GABA deficiency may reduce the amount of deep sleep your body gets. [5]

L-Theanine and GABA have different, yet very complementary mechanisms of action when it comes to sleep. The addition of either one or both of these to your nightly routine could help you get to sleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake more rested than before.

GABA and L-Theanine Sleep Supplements Online

When looking for a supplier for GABA, L-theanine and other supplements, there are a few important points to keep in mind.  Firstly, the website should be upfront about the ingredients included in the supplements, such as whether or not it is pure Theanine or Theanine with other additives.

Secondly, the price should be competitive with the rest of the suppliers in the market.  If the price is significantly higher or significantly lower, there may be something else at play.

Finally, figure out if the supplier uses third-party testing to verify the quality and purity of the product.  This third-party testing is a huge indicator of honesty and quality from the supplier. One supplier that I frequently use is Powder City. They meet all of the above criteria and have been good to me in the past.


  1. www.ismh.org
  2. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22285321
  3. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22214254
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-Aminobutyric_acid
  5. www.webmd.com