Last Updated on December 9, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff
When it comes to addressing sleep problems, two of the most commonly recommended supplements are l-theanine and melatonin. While both can help improve sleep quality, they have different mechanisms of action and potential side effects.
L-Theanine is used as a supplement to reduce stress and anxiety levels, and as a result it can also help you sleep. However melatonin improves sleep quality by helping people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, and as such it is often prescribed by doctors.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. Luckily in this article we will discuss the differences and similarities between l-theanine vs melatonin for sleep and which may be a better choice depending on your sleep issues.
Note: This content was only written as a reference, using third-party background information. It is not medical advice; As always, it is essential to do your research and speak with a healthcare provider if you have questions or before taking any new supplement.
- Which Is Better For Sleep?
- The Similarities
- The Differences
- Can I Take L-Theanine & Melatonin Together?
- Is It OK To Take L-theanine Every Night?
- Is It OK To Take Melatonin Every Night?
- The Side Effects
- Top Tips When Taking L-Theanine For Sleep
- Top Tips When Taking Melatonin For Sleep
- Most Asked Questions About L-Theanine and Melatonin
L-Theanine vs Melatonin: which one is better for sleep?
L-Theanine and Melatonin are naturally occurring compounds that have been studied for their potential benefits in promoting a healthy sleep cycle. Though these two compounds have very different purposes, they may be able to provide a more powerful sleep aid.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found primarily in green tea leaves. It is known for its calming effects on the body and mind and is often used as a supplement to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Studies suggest that L-Theanine increases alpha brain waves, which can help to reduce stress and improve relaxation.
Melatonin, meanwhile, is a hormone produced in the pineal gland that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle.
Taking melatonin as a supplement improves sleep quality by helping people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It is often regarded as more useful for sleep than L-Theanine.
L-Theanine vs Melatonin For Sleep: The Similarities
Both L-Theanine and Melatonin are used to help people get a better night’s sleep. However, they work in similar ways concerning a few aspects; here are some of the similarities:
1. Both L-Theanine & Melatonin Are Natural Substances Found In Food
Talking about natural substances, both substances are found in some foods.
For example, L-Theanine is typically found in green tea, mushrooms, and certain types of seaweed. On the other hand, melatonin can be found in certain types of fruits like strawberries and oranges.
Natural substances like these can be beneficial in improving sleep quality and do not come with the risk of many side effects.
In any case, many supplements have them in their formula to ensure you get the highest concentration of these compounds.
2. Both Are Known To Help Reduce Stress & Anxiety
L-Theanine and Melatonin have calming effects on the body and mind, which can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
This makes them an excellent option for those who suffer from chronic stress or anxiety, as they can potentially aid in falling asleep quicker and staying asleep longer.
Regarding how these two are similar in making stress and anxiety much less, L-Theanine helps to increase alpha brain waves, which are responsible for relaxation.
While melatonin, on the other hand, works by helping the body establish a natural rhythm and regulate sleep cycles.
3. Both Can Be Taken In Supplement Form
Although both of these substances can be found in certain foods, it is much easier and more effective to take them in supplement form. That way, it is sure that you get the correct dosage without worrying about what foods are available or if you’re getting enough of the substance.
This aspect makes L-Theanine and Melatonin convenient for those looking to improve their sleep quickly and easily. However, as we all know, some customers may need more time to prepare meals containing enough of these compounds.
4. They Both Have Potential Side Effects When Not Taken Properly
Although both L-Theanine and Melatonin are natural substances and generally considered safe, it is still essential to note some potential side effects that can occur when either one is taken in excess or without proper medical supervision.
For example, excessive L-Theanine can lead to anxiety, headaches and digestive issues. On the other hand, taking too much melatonin can cause sleepiness during the day and other adverse reactions such as dizziness or nausea.
It is essential to always follow the recommended dosages for either of these substances for your safety. Additionally, it’s also advised to consult with a doctor before taking any supplement.
L-Theanine vs Melatonin For Sleep: The Differences
But what makes them different when we talk about better sleep? Let’s take a look at their differences.
1. They Have Different Effects On The Body
The main difference between L-Theanine and Melatonin is their effects on the body. L-Theanine produces a calming and relaxing effect, while melatonin helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle.
This means that taking L-Theanine can help reduce stress levels before bedtime, while melatonin can help us fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
2. They Come From Different Sources
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea, while melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the body.
This means that L-Theanine must be taken as a supplement or consumed through foods that contain it. In contrast, melatonin can be taken as a supplement or consumed naturally through the body’s production cycle.
3. They Interact Differently With Medications
L-Theanine is generally safe to take with other medications. However, it can interact with certain ones, such as blood pressure-lowering medications.
Melatonin can also interact with medication like anti-depressants and antihistamines, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before using them together.
4. They Work At Different Speeds
L-Theanine works quickly, and its effects can be felt in as little as 30 minutes. Melatonin takes longer to take effect, usually around an hour or two before it starts to work.
Depending on your needs, this may affect which one you choose.
5. They Are Used For Different Reasons
L-Theanine is often taken to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mental clarity. Melatonin is taken primarily for improving sleep quality and helping with jet lag.
Depending on your needs, you’ll want to choose the supplement that best suits them.
Can I take L–Theanine vs Melatonin Together?
The short answer is no. Taking L-Theanine and Melatonin together could be potentially dangerous, as the two substances have similar effects on the body.
In some cases, taking them together may increase their sedative effect, making it difficult to stay awake or alert during the day. If you are considering taking both supplements for sleep, it’s best to talk to your doctor first.
That said, L-Theanine and Melatonin can still be combined with other things as part of a more effective sleep supplement regimen.
For example, some people have seen positive results when taking L-Theanine alongside other natural sleep aids like Valerian Root or Passion Flower Extract.
Additionally, combining melatonin with other natural sleep aids such as magnesium or 5-HTP can help create a perfect balance of relaxation and restfulness.
Is It OK To Take L-theanine Every Night?
It is generally considered safe for adults to take L-theanine every night as a sleep aid. However, it is essential to consult a physician or healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimen.
Additionally, potential interactions with other medications and supplements must be considered when taking L-theanine for sleep. Finally, as with any supplement, it is essential to follow the instructions on the label and stay within the recommended dosage.
Is It OK To Take Melatonin Every Night?
It depends. While melatonin can help to establish healthy sleep patterns, it may become less effective over time if taken too frequently.
Melatonin can offer temporary relief for people who have had difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for a long time. However, taking it every night may lead to your body becoming accustomed to the effects of melatonin and reducing its effectiveness.
The Known Side Effects of Both
The most significant side effect of L-theanine is that it may interact with certain medications, but here are some more to keep an eye out for:
3. Stomach upset
6. Increased heart rate
7. Lowered blood pressure
Side effects of melatonin are typically mild but may include:
4. Daytime sleepiness
5. Vivid dreams and nightmares
6. Loss of appetite
7. Lower body temperature
8. Stomach cramps or discomfort
It’s important to discuss with your doctor if either L-Theanine or melatonin is the right choice for you. Some people may experience more side effects than others, depending on their conditions and the severity of the issue being treated. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
Top Tips When Taking L-Theanine For Sleep
1. Have a set sleep schedule:
Aim to go to bed and wake up simultaneously each day. Doing this will prepare your body for sleep when taking L-Theanine before bed. A consistent sleep routine can also help you get deeper and better rest.
2. Take the correct dosage
When taking L-Theanine for sleep, it is essential to take the correct dosage. You may need to experiment with different dosages depending on your individual needs and preferences. Start low and increase the dose if needed.
3. Avoid taking L-Theanine late in the day
L-Theanine takes a few hours to take effect, so it’s important to avoid taking it too close to bedtime. Taking the supplement earlier in the day, such as mid-afternoon, can help ensure you get the most out of L-Theanine’s calming effects.
4. Avoid drinking alcohol
Alcohol interferes with sleep quality in several ways and can disrupt your sleep cycle. Therefore, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, especially in the late evening when taking L-Theanine.
These tips can help you make sure that you get the best sleep possible when taking L-Theanine. With a consistent sleep schedule and the correct dosage, you may notice more restful nights of sleep. These steps also allow you to experience more balanced energy levels during the day.
Top Tips When Taking Melatonin For Sleep
1. Get exposure to natural light
Exposure to sunlight helps your body keep its internal clock in sync, essential for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Try to spend some time outdoors daily and ensure that your bedroom is well-lit during waking hours.
2. Establish a relaxing bedtime ritual
Our bodies naturally respond to rituals, so developing one for winding down in the evening is essential. To relax your mind and body before bed, try reading or listening to soothing music, meditating or practising breathing exercises, or taking a warm bath.
3. Avoid stimulants before bed
Stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle and prevent restful sleep. Try to cut off all stimulants at least four hours before bedtime.
4. Don’t take melatonin too late in the day
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate sleep cycles. Taking melatonin too late in the day can interfere with your natural circadian rhythms and make it more challenging to get quality rest. Try to take melatonin at least four hours before you plan on going to bed.
Most Asked Questions About L-Theanine and Melatonin
How long does it take for L-Theanine or melatonin to take effect?
It typically takes between 30 minutes and two hours for either supplement to take effect. However, this can vary depending on an individual’s metabolism and dosage.
Can too much L-theanine cause insomnia?
Yes, taking too much L-theanine may have the opposite effect and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Make sure to take the correct dosage to avoid this issue.
When should I take L-theanine at night?
To get the most out of L-theanine’s calming effects, it is best to take the supplement at least four hours before bedtime.
When should I take L-theanine and melatonin?
It would help if you took L-theanine and melatonin at least four hours before bedtime. This way, both supplements will have time to take effect. However, it is best to experiment with different doses and times that work best for your unique needs.
What should L-theanine not be taken with?
It is best to avoid taking L-theanine with any other stimulants, such as caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. Additionally, it is essential not to take L-theanine too late in the day since it takes a few hours for the effects to kick in.
In conclusion, both L-theanine and melatonin can improve sleep quality. However, taking the proper dosage at the right time of day is essential as avoiding taking them with other stimulants.
Nevertheless, with a consistent sleep schedule and the right supplements, you may feel more energized during the day and get better sleep at night.