I’m at the Integrative Medicine for Mental Health Conference and am speaking on “GABA for anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, autism and addictions.”
One of the studies I will be sharing is this new study on GABA and theanine and how this combination improves sleep: GABA and l-theanine mixture decreases sleep latency and improves NREM sleep.
The authors share the sleep and anxiety benefits of both GABA and theanine:
γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter and it is well established that activation of GABAA receptors favours sleep.
l-Theanine, a naturally occurring amino acid first discovered in green tea, is a well-known anti-anxiety supplement with proven relaxation benefits.
The study objective was to investigate the:
potential synergistic sleep enhancement effect of GABA/l-theanine mixture.
The GABA/l-theanine mixture showed a decrease in sleep latency (length of time to fall asleep) and an increase in sleep duration compared to GABA or theanine alone.
The study authors state:
The increase in GABA receptor and GluN1 (glutamine receptor subunit) expression is attributed to the potential neuromodulatory properties of GABA/l-theanine combination, which seems to affect sleep behaviour.
Here are the amounts used in the study:
- GABA: 100mg per kg of body weight
- theanine: 20 mg per kg of body weight
I have found the combination of GABA and theanine to be extremely helpful for many of my clients but not everyone needs the combination. Some folks do very well on GABA alone and some folks do really well on theanine alone.
Keep in mind I do not make amino acid recommendations based on weight but instead use the trial method [link to trial blog] to find the ideal amount.
The best way for you to figure out if you will benefit from the combination or either of them alone is to use the trial method. Do the low GABA questionnaire and do a trial of either GABA alone or theanine alone or a combination of both, until you find the right amount to improve your sleep and ease anxiety.
If you find the combination works well for you, GABA T-SAP by Nutritional Fundamentals, is a really nice combination product that I use with clients who have both anxiety and insomnia issues. I find that opening up the capsule onto the tongue is more effective than swallowing it. You can find this product and other GABA products I recommend on my supplements blog.
Here are some other blogs on the benefits of using oral GABA
- Sleep improvement: Oral intake of GABA and Apocynum venetum leaf extract
- How GABA eases agonizing rectal pain and spasms in under 2 minutes
- Oral GABA supplementation allows better prioritizing of planned actions
- GABA helps with inhibition of unwanted thoughts
Have you found GABA alone to help you with both sleep and anxiety or have you found that the combination of GABA and theanine is more helpful?
Additional Anxiety Resources