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    Researchers say Suntheanine may improve sleep quality, and works even if your child is taking stimulant medication.

    When children with ADHD can't sleep night after night, the results can be frustrating for the entire family: the poor school performance … the missed classes … the hyperactive behavior … the problems with moodiness. If only he could sleep better at night, he might be able to function better during the day! Researchers have heard your pleas, and promising new options are emerging.

    A newly published University of British Columbia study has found that giving good-tasting, chewable supplements containing Suntheanine L-theanine may help improve your child's sleep quality without significant side effects. The researchers reassuringly noted that the benefits were consistent among children regardless of whether they were also taking stimulant medication.

    Study details
    It's estimated that 25-50 percent of children and teens with ADHD experience some type of sleep problem, which could affect their performance in school as well as contribute to problems with hyperactivity and emotional issues. It's also estimated that boys are three times more likely than girls to have ADHD.

    This randomized, 10-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial , published in Alternative Medicine Review, involved 98 boys diagnosed with ADHD, ranging in age from 8-12 years. Participants consumed two chewable tablets twice daily (at breakfast and after school), with each tablet containing 100 mg. of Suntheanine, a patented form of pure L-theanine or a placebo. Their parents completed the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire at baseline and at the end of the treatment period. In addition, the boys were monitored with an actigraph—a wristwatch-like device that records sleep activity levels and related data.

    The Actigraph watch findings indicated that boys who consumed the Suntheanine obtained significantly higher sleep percentage and sleep efficiency scores, along with a non-significant trend for less activity during sleep (defined as less time awake after sleep onset) compared to those in the placebo group.

    "These improvements were compelling and significant," commented lead researcher Michael R. Lyon, M.D., who points out that additional research is needed. "While L-theanine has been studied for its effects on stress, mood and cognition in non-ADHD subjects, this is the first report of its effects in children with ADHD. Given the importance of sleep in assisting children with attention, memory, emotion and behavior in the daytime, it warrants investigation to determine whether L-theanine's effects on sleep are long-term and whether they translate into measurable positive changes in ADHD symptoms."

    He cautions: "Some lower cost products may not contain enough of the proper form of L-theanine to be effective. We analyzed six commercially available products labeled as L-theanine, and discovered that five contained significant amounts of another compound. The safety and effectiveness of these mixtures have not been determined. Only Suntheanine contained pure L-theanine, which is why we chose to use it for this study."

    This study was conducted at the Canadian Centre for Functional Medicine in conjunction with the Food, Nutrition & Health Program at the University of British Columbia. For additional studies about Suntheanine, visit

    Media Note: For additional information, or to arrange an interview with Dr. Lyon, contact Media Relations, Inc. at 612-798-7220.

    About Michael R. Lyon, BSc, MD
    Dr. Michael Lyon is a practicing physician and the Medical and Research Director for the Canadian Center for Functional Medicine located in Vancouver, B.C. A fun and interesting guy with a real zest for living, he's known by members of his local broadcast media as the 'extreme commuter' because he flies his helicopter to work.

    Dr. Lyon heads up a team of clinicians and researchers dedicated to biotechnology, nutritional and natural health product research. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Food, Nutrition and Health Program at University of British Columbia and is involved in collaborative clinical research with the University of Toronto, the McMaster University, Rutgers University and Vancouver Island University. He currently conducts and oversees research teams in the fields of obesity, diabetes and appetite regulation; childhood behavioral disorders; anxiety and insomnia.

    Tel: (612) 798-7220
    Toll Free: (800) 999-4859

  • Did you ever wish that our bodies were like cars and whatever was wrong could be easily repaired? Wouldn't it be nice to pull into a garage, get hooked up to a computer, find out what's wrong, and have it fixed? We actually are getting closer to this reality, especially for those with a family history of depression.

    Research has repeatedly shown that depression occurs when the brain has an irregular brainwave pattern. Specifically, the frontal area of the brain is highly involved with our emotions. The left frontal area, in the forehead area above the left eye, is linked with positive feelings and wanting to be with others. The right frontal area, though, is the opposite and associated with depression and wanting to close ourselves off from other people. When the left frontal lobe of the brain has been affected, either by heredity or by injury (concussion), the brainwave activity is slowed. This under-activity on the left allows the right frontal lobe to become dominant and can lead to feelings of depression and wanting to be alone.

    We actually can brain map this activity with...take a deep breath...quantitative electroencephalograms, otherwise known as QEEGs.

    QEEG Brain Mapping
    Depression can be seen on QEEGs with Brain Mapping

    Above are parts of a brain map from two different people, one with depression and the other without symptoms of depression. Can you guess which brain map shows depression?

    Answer: The brain map on the right is from a person with a long history of depression. It is easy to see that the left frontal area of this person reveals a patch, which is colored orange and yellow. This orange/yellow color variation indicates that there is an excess of slow, alpha brainwave activity. This is the pattern that has been classically associated with a vulnerability to depression. The brain map on the left displays how a relatively normal map would look, without any excess or serious deficit of brain wave activity. So to repeat—when the left frontal brainwaves are weakened, the right side becomes dominant and often can result in feelings of depression.

    You may be thinking… “How can I wake up the left frontal lobe so positive emotions can return?”

    Let’s start by telling you more about brain maps.

    What is Brain Mapping?
    The brain uses electrical impulses, called brainwaves, to send and receive messages from all parts of the body. A brain map analyzes each specific brain wave called alpha, beta, theta, or delta and creates a visual presentation (as shown above) for each lobe of the brain. By knowing what a normal presentation looks like, we are able to compare and assess a patient’s degree of impairment.

    The brain map is an innovative new tool in accurately identifying the problem areas of the brain. It allows for a clearer assessment and provides a pathway for improving your health and emotional well-being.

    What other conditions can be brain mapped?
    It has been well documented that people who suffer neurological problems have abnormal brain waves in certain areas of the brain. For instance, case studies using QEEG “brain maps” have shown that people with Attention-Deficit-Disorder (ADD) have elevated delta brainwaves, while those who suffer from depression have elevated alpha brainwaves. Those with anxiety will have elevated Beta brainwaves, while those suffering from memory loss usually have decreased theta brainwaves. Brain mapping allows us to identify areas of the brain that need to be retrained with neurofeedback.

    Insomnia is another condition that has a high success rate with neurofeedback.

    Neurofeedback does not target any particular disorder. Its purpose is to change timing and activation patterns in the brain. This improves brain regulation, which can impact a variety of symptoms.

    Different symptoms will require triggering different areas of the brain. The software is designed to target specific areas of the brain according to a patient’s symptoms.

    What is Neurofeedback?
    Imagine a car mechanic resetting the timing on your engine. He or she knows that your car won’t run right unless the engine can run smoothly.

    Neurofeedback retrains your brain to have a normal flow of brainwave activity throughout each part or lobe of the brain. This process of retuning brainwave activity is called operant conditioning.

    Neurofeedback is a noninvasive process and is performed while the patient watches a movie or listens to music. Small electrodes are gently adhered to specific area of the head with washable paste.

    Sessions will usually last up to 30 minutes.

    The best part of neurofeedback is that results are often permanent, allowing a person to reduce or even eliminate medications altogether. Where medications only manage the symptoms, the goal of neurofeedback is to address the underlying cause and restore normal brainwave functions.

    A listing of conditions commonly treated with Neurofeedback includes:

    • ADD/ADHD
    • Addiction
    • Anxiety
    • Autism
    • Spectrum Thyroid Disorders
    • Chronic Pain
    • Depression
    • Lyme Disease
    • Peripheral Neuropathy
    • Head Injuries
    • Insomnia
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Migraine Headaches
    • Brain Fog
    • PTSD/Stress
    • Stroke
    • Sleep Disorders
    • Weight Loss

    To learn more about this non-drug approach to depression and other conditions, visit Lanzisera Center is located at 17 Davis Blvd in Tampa Florida (813) 253-2333. Calls from out-of-state are welcomed.

    Drs. Frank and Lisa Lanzisera are the authors of two books, “Wheat Gluten” and “What’s Wrong with My Thyroid?”

    DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for Educational Purposes Only and is not designed to diagnose, treat, mitigate, prevent or cure any health conditions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated statements about these health topics or any suggested product compositions.