Many of today’s medications are not approved for children, making it difficult for parents to manage their active kids especially if they have sleep issues. Appearing on Edmonton’s CTV News, holistic pharmacist Sherry Torkos discussed a dietary supplement that has been clinically studied with children. Suntheanine promotes a calm, more relaxed state, and helps improve sleep quality. Unlike some other medications, it doesn’t affect how they’ll feel the next day.
It’s important to be aware of the side effects and potential risks of any medication. “Medications for sleep often cause next-day drowsiness and side effects. I brought some things that can help naturally,” said Torkos. “These products contain an amino acid called Suntheanine. It helps to make you feel more calm and more relaxed. It puts you into a better state, so you can get better sleep quality, and without causing the next-day drowsiness.”
L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that is believed responsible for its relaxation benefits. Suntheanine is a 100 percent pure, patented form of theanine produced via a fermentation process. “Suntheanine is okay for adolescents to take,” said Torkos. “It’s actually been clinically studied in children eight and above, so it’s a good option.” When traveling to different time zones or doing shift work, Torkos said, “Consider melatonin, which is a hormone our body naturally releases in response to darkness. It can also help improve sleep quality.”
A study conducted at the Canadian Center for Functional Medicine suggests that Suntheanine helps improve the quality of sleep, reduce hyperactive behaviors and improves cognitive performance in children with ADHD. The double-blind study involved 100 children diagnosed with ADHD. Highly significant improvements were seen in the majority of children. Research suggests that parents may want to consider giving Suntheanine to children who are active at bedtime. It doesn’t cause drowsiness, but rather improves the quality of sleep. Its effects are generally felt within 30 minutes and have been shown to last up to 8 to 12 hours.