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L-Theanine vs Melatonin (Which Is Best For Sleep?)

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So, you wanna get healthy. This is the year.

That’s amazing!

There’s only one problem – you have 300 different supplements to choose from. So how do you pick?

Well, in my Supplement Comparison Guide, I take 2 supplements and pit them against each other on benefits, price, side effects and much more. The goal isn’t to choose a “winner”, but to help you decide which one is right for you.

Up next we have L-Theanine vs Melatonin.

Let’s get started.

What is L-Theanine?

Field full of tea leaves

L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves that’s known for its “calming” properties.

So for the majority of people, tea is the most common source of L-Theanine.

(In fact, real green tea is the most common source of L-Theanine. No, not the cheap stuff that Lipton make.)

L-Theanine is one of my favorite brain-boosting ingredients, as it’s safe, good for you and effective.

What is Melatonin?

night sky with stars

Melatonin is a hormone that’s naturally produced by the pineal gland in your brain.

Its main job is to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm to manage your sleep cycle, so many people use it to treat insomnia.

Melatonin is naturally lower in the morning, making you feel more alert throughout the day, and then it naturally rises in the evening which makes you feel tired and helps you sleep.


Benefits of L-Theanine

L-Theanine reduces caffeine jitters

I have a love-hate relationship with coffee.

That first sip of a warm, aromatic coffee in the morning is priceless.

But sometimes, the caffeine rush that follows can make me feel horrific.

For example, anxiety, jitters and pounding headaches are just a few of the effects I may notice after a strong coffee.

But since taking L-Theanine alongside my morning cup of Joe, these effects are barely noticeable!

L-Theanine helps improve sleep

In my eyes, sleep quality is the most undervalued aspect of living a true vitalized life.

So over the last year, I’ve been experimenting with a few different supplements to improve my sleep.

I’ve tried:

  • Holy Basil
  • L-Theanine
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • California Poppy Extract

The best sleep I’ve ever had was when I either used both Holy Basil and Phosphatidylserine together or L-Theanine on its own.

(California Poppy Extract didn’t seem to do much.)

By this, I mean that when using L-Theanine in the evening, my sleep was much deeper than normal and I could fall asleep super quick.

I credit this to L-Theanine’s ability to help you feel calm and relaxed, which helps reduce overthinking.

L-Theanine improves cognitive function

Many people use L-Theanine as a nootropic.

In other words, they use it for its “brain enhancing” properties.

It seems to boost cognitive function by amplifying your Alpha brain waves, which increases creativity.

Benefits of Melatonin

Melatonin helps improve sleep

Many people refer to Melatonin as the sleep hormone thanks to its ability to support better sleep.

A review of 19 studies on Melatonin and sleep disorders found that Melatonin improved sleep quality, increased the amount of sleep and reduced the time it took to fall asleep.

Another study in 50 cancer patients with insomnia showed that taking Melatonin 2 hours before bed improved sleep quality and helped them fall asleep faster.

And so Melatonin is one of the most popular sleep remedies.

(Related reading: Do Cold Showers Help You Sleep?)

Melatonin may increase Human Growth Hormone

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a naturally produced hormone that’s vital for growth.


Many bodybuilders inject HGH as higher levels of HGH may increase muscle mass and bone strength.

Research suggests that supplementing with Melatonin may increase HGH levels in men.

For example, a study in 8 men showed that both 0.5mg and 5mg of Melatonin stimulated HGH release.

Melatonin helps treat GERD

GERD is a nasty condition caused by stomach acid flowing into the esophagus, which can cause symptoms like heartburn, bad breath and chest pain.

Research suggests that Melatonin may be effective at treating GERD as it helps block the secretion of stomach acids.

Take this study for example which investigated the effects of a supplement containing Melatonin and Omeprazole on GERD.

(Omeprazole is a common GERD medication by the way.)

The results showed that 100% of people who took the Melatonin-containing supplement had a reduction in symptoms!

In fact it was more effective than the actual GERD medication, as only 65.7% of people who took Omeprazole had a reduction in symptoms.


L-Theanine Cost

L-Theanine is typically sold in the form of powder or in capsules.

Here are some standard prices for these:

  • Powder: $10 for 100g
  • Capsules: $20 for 100

Melatonin Cost

Melatonin is usually sold in tablets.

For a mid-range Melatonin supplement, you can expect to pay around $14 for 120 tablets.

Side Effects

L-Theanine Side Effects

Hardly any.

It’s generally safe to drink teas that contain L-Theanine and to supplement with L-Theanine.

But the following side effects may be noticeable if you drink too much tea:

  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Upset Stomach

(These side effects are from the caffeine in the tea, rather than L-Theanine itself.)

Melatonin Side Effects

Whilst Melatonin supplements are usually well tolerated by healthy adults, the following side effects have been reported in some people:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches


My L-Theanine Recommendation: Nootropics Depot L-Theanine Powder

Nootropics Depot L-Theanine Powder

Click to see on Amazon


A fantastic L-Theanine supplement that’s in powder form.

It’s ideal if you like the freedom to choose how much L-Theanine you want to take.

What I like about it

I love that this supplement is 100% L-Theanine powder.

So there are no cheap fillers, additives or preservatives that you need to worry about.

Just pure L-Theanine goodness.

Another great feature is that each tub provides a massive 2500 servings, so it’ll last you many, many years.

And last but not least, you can mix and match the dosage to suit your needs since this supplement comes as a powder.

Potential Drawbacks

I guess being a powder is a double-edged sword as some folks may dislike the taste.

This isn’t a deal breaker by any means though, as you can just add some of your favorite juice to mask the taste.

Check price and read more reviews of Nootropic Depot L-Theanine Powder on Amazon.

My Melatonin Recommendation: Solgar Melatonin

Solgar Melatonin

Click to see on Amazon


A premium quality supplement from a premium brand, but without the premium price tag.

You really can’t go wrong with Solgar Melatonin.

What I like about it

Dozens of excellent reviews show that this is a high-quality Melatonin supplement, and that loads of other people are seeing great results with it.

Since each bottle contains 120 nuggets (small tablets), it will last you many months too.

I’m also a big fan of Solgar as a supplement brand.

They’re known for producing top quality products and are trusted worldwide.

Potential Drawbacks

I’d personally like to see less other ingredients as I’m quite fussy over what I put into my body.

That’s just my opinion though…

Check price and read more reviews of Solgar Melatonin on Amazon.

L-Theanine vs Melatonin: The Verdict

Thanks for sticking to the end of this L-Theanine vs Melatonin showdown.

Both supplements offer a wide range of benefits and aren’t too pricey.

So with that in mind, here’s a simple guide to help you make your decision:

You might prefer L-Theanine if:

  • You can’t stand caffeine jitters
  • You want to boost your creativity
  • You want absolute minimal side effects

You might prefer Melatonin if:

  • You want to increase HGH
  • You want the cheapest option
  • You want to reduce GERD symptoms

Hope this helped!

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