VANCOUVER, B.C. — A study conducted at the University of British Columbia indicates that L-theanine may help boys diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (A.D.H.D.) improve their sleep quality. The results of the study were published in the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Medicine Review.

The randomized, 10-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 98 boys diagnosed with A.D.H.D., ranging in age from 8 years to 12 years. Participants consumed two chewable tablets twice daily (at breakfast and after school), with each tablet containing 100 mg of Suntheanine, a form of pure L-theanine, a food ingredient manufactured by Taiyo International, Inc., Minneapolis, or a placebo. Parents completed a pediatric sleep questionnaire at baseline and at the end of the treatment period. In addition, the children 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. The effects were consistent among children regardless of whether they were also taking stimulant medication.

There were no significant adverse reactions, according to the study.

“These improvements were compelling and significant,” said Michael R. Lyon, M.D., adjunct professor in the food, nutrition and health program at the University of British Columbia and lead researcher of the study. “While L-theanine has been studied for its effects on stress, mood and cognition in non-A.D.H.D. subjects, this is the first report of its effects in children with A.D.H.D.”