Life’s journey brings stress out of nowhere, and it is our ability to cope with it that determines our success in defeating depression and anxiety in order to bring joy. The stresses of life are normal: relationships, work, environmental factors, illness, and other factors all frequently affect our health; but the key for the healthy person is to become educated in the ways to manage it. Diet, exercise, a spiritual component, and learning about dietary supplements such as Suntheanine can help manage the stresses of life.
In the United States, there are approximately 19.1 million adults who have a defined problem with anxiety. Women are two to three times more likely to experience panic-related problems than men. Healthy individuals can become overstressed because of challenges along life’s journey by having difficulty handling stress during the day and also getting a good night’s sleep. Excess stress increases blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and fat levels. Also, without a restful sleep individuals do not perform mentally and physically at their best during the day.
One of the problems with our American lifestyle is that from the time we get up until we go to bed at night, the average person is rushing either to get somewhere or do something. Taking time to stop and smell the flowers is a good idea, but most people will say they either don’t have the time or don’t remember to do it. It is important to slow down and learn how to relax and exercise in order to release tension from our body and add a spiritual component in our life. We can improve the quality of foods in our diet by eating more fruit and vegetables, reducing stimulating beverages such as caffeine, and consuming smaller meals to prevent a sluggish feeling and depression. Another tool is to learn more about dietary supplements that have been proven to be safe and to support relaxation. One of these ingredients is Suntheanine®, a 100% pure form of L-theanine, a unique amino acid naturally found in green tea.
L-theanine – The unique amino acid found in Green Tea
In Asian countries, green tea has been used for centuries for its many benefits, including its ability to relax the mind and body. Recent research has demonstrated that the active component found in the leaves of green tea that induces relaxation without drowsiness is the amino acid L-theanine. A new, pure form produced via a fermentation process known as Suntheanine from Taiyo is becoming more popular in formulas for relaxation and improving focus without drowsiness. There have been a number of human and animal studies showing that this form is safe and effective.
Suntheanine helps prevent the jitters caused by caffeine, promotes a positive mood and alertness, promotes concentration, learning and memory, reduces stress and nervous tension, reduces normal symptoms associated with PMS symptoms, and has been shown to help support immune function.
Suntheanine’s relaxation effect is caused by its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and balance out our brain neurotransmitters. This normalization leads to an increase in the level of alpha brain waves, a state often achieved by meditation, one of deep relaxation and mental alertness. Both animals and humans produce brain waves on the brain surface. Of the four types of brain waves, which demonstrate individual mental conditions, alpha waves have been shown to be an expression of relaxation. Human studies have shown an increase in alpha waves within 30 to 40 minutes after consuming 50–200 mg of Suntheanine in foods and supplements.
Unlike GABA supplements, which do not cross the blood brain barrier, Suntheanine has been shown to stimulate the natural formation of the neurotransmitter, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). This neurotransmitter promotes a state of deep relaxation and calm, and at the same time increases sensations of pleasure. GABA is our body’s own natural calming agent. By maintaining adequate levels of GABA, we are able to experience a sense of well-being and inner peace, no matter what our stress levels may be.
Suntheanine has been shown to influence the brain neurotransmitters, possibly normalizing levels of dopamine and serotonin. These compounds affect learning and memory. Dopamine has an effect on the central nervous system. This is a great combination of effects since they will promote a good mood while keeping one alert and focused. Animal studies have shown that Suntheanine improves the ability to learn and improves memory.
Since it is now recognized that stress is a huge impediment to optimal performance and good health, Suntheanine offers a profound antidote to the stress assault encountered by most Americans. Ongoing research has provided conclusive results of the many ways Suntheanine promotes and protects well-being.
Suntheanine has many and varied proven health benefits. While not a sedative, it is able to significantly improve the quality of sleep, so you wake-up feeling truly rested and refreshed.
Sleeping deeply and waking up refreshed is a prerequisite for good health. A good night’s sleep plays a critical role in strengthening the body’s immune defenses. One of the body’s most powerful cancer fighters, called tumor necrosis factor increases tenfold during a good night’s sleep. Any health assault is withstood with a strong immune system. However, without that slumber, natural killer cells, another important part of the immune system’s cancer defenses, is noticeable weakened.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly seven out of 10 Americans experience frequent sleep problems, although most have not been diagnosed. This means that millions of Americans are either staring at the ceiling counting sheep each night in hopes of falling asleep or tossing and turning, unable to get back to slumber land. Modern life brings with it many unsettling changes that could never have been anticipated. Before the invention of electricity, which gave instant illumination to our homes and cities, Americans slept an average of 10 hours a night. That number has been steadily decreasing. By the 1950s and 1960s, a night’s sleep was reduced to eight hours. With the hectic pace and stress of the 21st century world, sleeping only seven hours a night became the average. Presently, more than one in three people admit sleeping six hours or less. Few people realize that this sleep deficit is a serious threat to their health and well-being. We were born to sleep. Plants sleep; animals sleep and, of course, humans sleep. Have you ever wondered why getting some good shuteye each night is an essential part of your daily rhythms? As it turns out, the ultimate rejuvenation elixir of life is sleep. It is vital for the maintenance and repair of our body and mind. Sleep is actually a dynamic process with three distinct and necessary cycles. Each night we cycle through these stages of sleep ranging from light sleep to deep sleep and finally, to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A complete sleep cycle takes 90 to 100 minutes on average. While sleeping, our brains are using important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of activity. During deep sleep, brain activity that controls emotions, decision-making processes and social interaction shuts down, allowing us to maintain optimal emotional and social functioning when we are awake. This is also the stage when cell growth and cell repair takes place to combat the effects of stress. Thus, deep sleep can truly be called beauty sleep.
A recent clinical trail conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health in Japan has proven L-theanine’s ability to promote quality sleep. When 200 mg of L-theanine was taken before bedtime, it enhanced the quality of actual sleep of all the test subjects. In fact, all the participants reported a significant absence of “feeling exhausted” and a reduced need for sleep when using Suntheanine. In addition, the study showed that as sleep efficiency, an index of actual sleep time enjoyed between the time of falling asleep and the final morning awakening. To add icing to the cake, test subjects using Suntheanine decreased occurrence of nightmares. The study confirmed that Suntheanine does not promote sleep or increase the duration of seep but rather improves the quality of sleep by allowing the mind, while in a sleep state, to fully relax and recuperate. This is why the subjects did not report feeling groggy but rather felt refreshed and alert upon awakening. L-theanine is a much-needed solution to the two major problems currently compromising so many American’s health and overall well-being—stress and sleep deprivation.
Suntheanine has numerous safety and efficacy studies behind it, has been affirmed as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), and has received the FDA’s Letter of No Objection on its safety. The recommended amount of Suntheanine is between 50–200 mg, with no limitation on the maximum number of servings. Usually the calming effects are felt within 30 minutes and have been shown to last over six hours.