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Thomas Edison's sleep secret
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Hanrahan Offline

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Post: #1
Thomas Edison's sleep secret
I got this email today touting "Thomas Edison's sleep secret". A quick read indicates that it was theanine an ingredient of green tea. A search of this site drew a blank.

From Wiki:

Theanine /ˈθiːəniːn/, also known as L-γ-glutamylethylamide and N5-ethyl-L-glutamine (see box for more synonyms), is an amino acid analogue of the proteinogenic amino acids L-glutamate and L-glutamine and is found primarily in particular plant and fungal species. It was discovered as a constituent of a green tea in 1949; in 1950 it was isolated from gyokuro leaves, which have high theanine content.[3] Appearance of the name "theanine" without a prefix can be understood to imply the L-enantiomer; this is the form found in fresh teas and in some, but not all human dietary supplements; the opposite D-enantiomer has far less studied pharmacologic properties, but is present in racemic chemical preparations, and substantially in some studied theanine supplements.

Wiki is paranoid about allowing unproven medical advice being published but do say this:

Theanine increases serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in various areas of the brain, as well as BDNF and NGF levels in certain brain areas.[13][17][22][23] However, its effect on serotonin is still a matter of debate in the scientific community, with studies showing increases and decreases in brain serotonin levels using similar experimental protocols.[12][24] It has also been found that injecting spontaneously hypertensive mice with theanine significantly lowered levels of 5-hydroxyindoles in the brain.[25] Researchers also speculate that it may inhibit glutamate excitotoxicity.[13]

This is from a site advertising a product containing it:

XXXXX® (L-Theanine 99% Pure)
L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, produces a pronounced feeling of tranquility in as little as fifteen (15) minutes. L-theanine increases the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter (i.e. natural messenger in the brain) that promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety. L-theanine also stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for confidence and a sense of well-being.

Could this be of interest and if so has anyone studied it further?
07-27-2015 07:54 PM
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Sleeprider Online
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RE: Thomas Edison's sleep secret
This appears to be a complete distortion of historic reality to sell a health product. It's curious that of all people, to choose Thomas Edison, a renown insomniac would be credited with anything that has to do with sleep. He not only lived his life with minimal sleep, but imposed it on his employees and suggested society would be better off with little or no sleep. Try out this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archiv...on/370824/

If Edison had anything at all to do with this, it would be only because of an attribute that it reduces the need for real sleep.

Quote:Thomas Edison, the father of artificial light, was also a staunch opponent of sleep. As Derickson writes in his book Dangerously Sleepy: Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness, “Edison spent considerable amounts of his own and his staff’s energy on in publicizing the idea that success depended in no small part in staying awake to stay ahead of the technological and economic competition.”

No one, Derickson argues, “did more to frame the issue as a simple choice between productive work and unproductive rest.”

Early newspaper accounts touted Edison’s willingness to work “at all hours, night or day,” to frequently rack up more than a hundred hours of work in a week, and his tendency to select his subordinates based largely on their physical endurance.

In an 1889 interview with Scientific American, Edison claimed he slept no more than four hours a day, and he apparently enforced the same vigilance among his employees.

“At first the boys had some difficulty in keeping awake, and would go to sleep under stairways and in corners,” Edison said. “We employed watchers to bring them out, and in time they got used to it.”

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07-27-2015 09:43 PM
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Post: #3
RE: Thomas Edison's sleep secret
Just a quick addition...add the sender of your email to your spam email list.

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07-27-2015 09:48 PM
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Hanrahan Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Thomas Edison's sleep secret
(07-27-2015 09:48 PM)Sleeprider Wrote:  Just a quick addition...add the sender of your email to your spam email list.

OK forget about Edison. I was asking about theanine. Has anyone tried it?

I am looking for a non-sedative sleep aid like valarian root which is mildly effective for me.
07-28-2015 02:46 AM
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eseedhouse Online

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Post: #5
RE: Thomas Edison's sleep secret
(07-28-2015 02:46 AM)Hanrahan Wrote:  OK forget about Edison. I was asking about theanine. Has anyone tried it?

According to Medline there is no evidence that it helps with anxiety.

Quote:I am looking for a non-sedative sleep aid like valarian root which is mildly effective for me.

By definition anything that reduces your level of arousal is a sedative. Anything that promotes sleep is a "hypnotic". So you are asking for a contradiction, it appears to me. If it helps you to sleep it is a sedative or a hypnotic by definition.

Ed Seedhouse
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I am neither a Doctor, nor any other kind of medical professional.

Actually you know, it is what it isn't.
(This post was last modified: 07-28-2015 08:40 PM by eseedhouse.)
07-28-2015 08:39 PM
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Post: #6
RE: Thomas Edison's sleep secret
I was given really strong pain meds recently and my AHI went from 0-2 to 36. It tapered back as I stopped taking the meds.
07-29-2015 07:50 AM
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ddefendi Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Thomas Edison's sleep secret
(07-28-2015 02:46 AM)Hanrahan Wrote:  
(07-27-2015 09:48 PM)Sleeprider Wrote:  Just a quick addition...add the sender of your email to your spam email list.

OK forget about Edison. I was asking about theanine. Has anyone tried it?

I am looking for a non-sedative sleep aid like valarian root which is mildly effective for me.

Most of your original post was from wikipedia, not Edison. It was talking about Theanine (not a sleep product in itself but a component compound in many sleep products, i.e., Luna, Somnapure, etc, etc). Just go to Amazon and check out sleep aids and you'll see most of them have Theanine in there someplace.

Thanks for your post.

Dennis
07-29-2015 08:05 AM
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