Arguably, humans are more stressed than ever before. We have more and more devices and entities tugging at our attention than at any other time in history. On top of this, social media leads us to constantly compare ourselves to others, potentially leaving you wondering: “Am I doing enough?”
And get this: About 73% of adults in the general population claim that stress has a negative impact on their mental health.
High and chronic stress can leave you feeling depleted—and the catch-22 is that you might also struggle to get a restful night’s sleep due to high levels of the stress hormones. While meditation and relaxation techniques can help, another area you’ll want to turn your attention to is your nutrition intake, in particular L-Theanine.
So, what is L-Theanine? And how can it help you relax? What happens when you don’t get enough of it? Let’s find out!
What is L-Theanine?
L-Theanine is an amino acid. You can frequently find this amino acid in various tea products and even mushrooms. And it has many benefits, including:
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Improving cognition (in particular, focus and memory)
- Enhancing immune function
- Improving sleep
- Decreasing blood pressure
In particular, many health experts have narrowed in on L-Theanine for its ability to help decrease anxiety and stress and even promote a good night’s sleep. In fact, one study showed how L-Theanine, when consumed in tea form, helps calm the mind, without necessarily inducing drowsiness.
Reducing and managing stress can lead to improved sleep. So, while it won’t necessarily promote drowsiness, it can help you relax and ease into a restful night.
Other research further shows how L-Theanine reduces stress within the context of stressful situations. This means that by getting enough of this amino acid, you can stay agile and resilient even when faced with adversity.
What Happens When You Don’t Have Enough L-Theanine?
Surprisingly, L-Theanine is not an essential amino acid that humans need. However, its effects on the chemicals in the brain have been studied quite extensively (particularly in relation to green tea!).
L-Theanine can impact levels of serotonin, dopamine, and cortisol, which explains why it can help you manage stress and help you relax. By managing cortisol levels, L-Theanine can help deflect the negative impacts of stress, such as weight gain, lack of sleep, anxiety, and more.
In fact, L-Theanine is thought to act similar to glutamate in the body. Glutamate is an amino acid that is produced by the body, as well as found in various foods. However, researchers also note that it can block glutamate, which is how it can impact serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels.
L-Theanine: Your Answer to Stress Relief?
If you’re experiencing high levels of stress (including having difficulty sleeping because of it), supplement with L-Theanine, such as with Sleep Tonight by Life Nutrition. By doing so, you can guide your body toward the relaxation state, as well as achieve a good night’s rest where you wake up feeling energized and ready to tackle your day.