What is L-Theanine and How Can It Improve Your Sleep?
At Matcha Bloom, we're all about helping our Bloomers thrive in a fast-paced world. We strongly believe that when you nurture your seven dimensions of wellness, you can achieve the best version of yourself and live your life in full bloom.
Of course, we also know that you can't pour from an empty cup; if your mind and body aren't getting enough rest, you may struggle with other aspects of your health and wellness. If sleep isn't coming to you as easily as it once did, then it may be time to explore some tips on how to sleep better at night.
Sleeping well doesn't have to mean relying on habit-forming sleep aids with questionable ingredients—nor does it have to mean making drastic changes to your routine. With a little help from an amino acid known as L-theanine, you can start getting better sleep tonight!
Read on to learn more about what L-theanine is, where it's found, and how it can help you de-stress and sleep better. From there, we'll provide you with some other practical tips for a better night's sleep.
Trouble Sleeping? You're Not Alone.
It's no secret that we live in a demanding, fast-paced world. All too often, our self-worth seems to be measured by how many items we're able to check off our "to-do" lists. In reality, though, all this pressure to constantly be productive can create high levels of stress that impact every facet of our daily lives.
Most often, high stress first manifests itself in a lack of sleep. You may find that you're so busy trying to meet deadlines and get things done that you're sacrificing sleep as a result. And even when you do have some downtime, stress may make it difficult for you to "shut off your brain" and get the sleep that your body and brain so desperately need.
If you're having trouble getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, now is the time to take action! By doing so, you can give your body and mind the rest that they need to help you live a happier and healthier life. And if you're looking for a natural way to sleep better, L-theanine may be your answer.
What is L-Theanine?
Specifically, L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea, black tea, and some types of mushrooms. This amino acid cannot be naturally produced by the human body like melatonin can, but consuming beverages with L-theanine can help your body get more rest. That's because L-theanine is believed to block the over-production of excitatory neurotransmitters that can prevent your brain from "shutting off" at night. Likewise, L-theanine can increase your body's production of inhibitory neurotransmitters.
L-Theanine For Sleep: What You Need to Know
A great deal of research has been done on L-theanine as it relates to sleep. These studies have shown that those who take L-theanine sleep better than those who don't. Whether L-theanine is consumed in supplement/pill form or by regularly consuming tea, there are a number of ways in which this amino acid can promote better rest.
In addition to inhibiting those excitatory brain cells, it is believed that L-theanine can enhance alpha brain waves; these are the brain waves that are associated with relaxation and meditation—and they're the same type of brain wave that is created when you daydream. Because these brain waves are emitted during REM sleep, L-theanine can not only help you fall asleep more easily, but may even help you stay asleep and achieve greater quality REM sleep.
Meanwhile, L-theanine can help increase your body's production of serotonin and dopamine—both of which are crucial for reducing stress and helping you fall asleep.
How to Use L-Theanine for Sleep
As you can see, there are many potential L-theanine benefits when it comes to reducing your stress and getting a better night's sleep. So, how can you start using L-theanine for sleep?
The easiest way is to simply consume L-theanine as part of your diet. Specifically, our organic Matcha Green Tea Purity Powder is made with ceremonial-grade tea stone ground from Gyokuro green tea leaves, which naturally contain L-theanine. When you brew just 1g of our matcha powder into two ounces of hot water, you can treat yourself to a delicious and frothy beverage that will give you sustained energy during the day and help you sleep better at night.
In fact, many of our Bloomers have found success with replacing their morning or afternoon cup of coffee with our Matcha Green Tea Purity Powder. In doing so, you are nourishing your mind, body, and soul with the clean energy you need to power through your day without being too caffeinated to rest at night.
More Tips for Better Sleep
So, what are some other steps you can start taking to foster better sleep for yourself? We've got some tips on how to get better sleep that you can implement tonight.
1. Create a Sleep-Friendly Space
Start by making sure you're setting yourself up for success before you climb into bed. Create a space that is sleep-friendly by making sure your room is not too warm (or cold). You'll also have an easier time falling asleep if your room is dark, so consider investing in some blackout curtains or other window coverings that will prevent too much light from coming through.
If you tend to be woken up easily by noises (such as a snoring partner or a neighbor listening to music next door), you may also want to consider using white noise to help you fall (and stay) asleep. White noise machines are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, although there are even free white noise apps that you can try to see what works for you.
2. Eliminate Blue Light
Electronics with screens (such as smartphones and televisions) emit high levels of blue light that can suppress melatonin and prevent you from sleeping. With this in mind, it's a good idea to limit or even eliminate your exposure to blue light before bedtime. This means shutting off your TV and putting your phone on "silent" or "do not disturb" mode until morning.
Some phones and other devices also have a "night light" function that will essentially place a yellow filter over your screen. This is an effective way to filter out some blue light, which may make it easier for you to fall and stay asleep. Consider adjusting your phone settings so that your yellow light filter will automatically turn on at the same time each evening. This way, you won't have to remember to do it yourself!
Likewise, setting your phone up to automatically turn on a "do not disturb" mode at the same time each night is a great way to unplug, relax, and unwind.
3. Be Consistent With Your Routine
Consistency is key to better sleep. Once you find a routine that works well for you, stick with it! Make an effort to go to sleep around the same time each night, as your body will eventually become "trained" to rest better during those times.
4. Stay Active During the Day
You don't have to spend hours at the gym each day to enjoy sleep benefits at night. Even a small amount of physical activity during the day can help you sleep significantly better (while offering a number of other health and wellness benefits, too). Whether it's a quick yoga session or a mile walk around the neighborhood before bed, a little physical activity can go a long way towards a better night of sleep.
5. Try a Meditation Before Bed
If your mind always seems to start racing when you lie down for bed, it may also be helpful to get into the habit of meditating before you attempt to sleep. Meditation is a great way to relax your brain and ease into a peaceful night of rest.
Not sure where to begin with meditation? There are plenty of free and paid apps that offer guided meditation. Smiling Mind (free) and Headspace (paid subscription) are a couple of popular options that may be worth exploring.
Ready to Try L-Theanine for Sleep?
As you can see, there are many small changes you can make to improve your sleep quality and cut down on stress in your own life. And you'll likely find that the better you sleep, the better you're able to focus on other aspects of your wellness to lead a happier and more fulfilled life.
L-theanine can be a game-changer for many who struggle with sleep-related issues. If you're interested in giving it a try for yourself, check out our Green Tea Purity Powder! It's a great way to get L-theanine into your diet while also treating yourself to some much-needed energy to power you through your busiest of days!