The Improvement of Sleep by Oral Intake of GABA and Apocynum venetum Leaf Extract

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2015;61(2):182-7. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.61.182.


The effects of two food materials, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) produced by natural fermentation and Apocynum venetum leaf extract (AVLE), on the improvement of sleep were investigated in humans. The electroencephalogram (EEG) test revealed that oral administration of GABA (100 mg) and AVLE (50 mg) had beneficial effects on sleep. GABA shortened sleep latency by 5.3 min and AVLE increased non-rapid eye movement (REM) sleep time by 7.6%. Simultaneous intake of GABA and AVLE shortened sleep latency by 4.3 min and increased non-REM sleep time by 5.1%. The result of questionnaires showed that GABA and AVLE enabled subjects to realize the effects on sleep. These results mean that GABA can help people to fall asleep quickly, AVLE induces deep sleep, and they function complementarily with simultaneous intake. Since both GABA and AVLE are materials of foods and have been ingested for a long time, they can be regarded as safe and appropriate for daily intake in order to improve the quality of sleep.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apocynum*
  • Diet
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep, REM
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / pharmacology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Plant Extracts
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid