You may have heard that nootropic researchers are studying phenibut for sleep.
The nootropic compound is purported to act as a potent sleep aid that can help subjects get a deeper rest. Some test subjects have reported that it helps them with insomnia, which is why it’s actually used to treat sleep disorders in some countries.
But does it? What does the research say about using phenibut for sleep?
That’s what we’ll go over in this article: everything you need to know about this potentially powerful nootropic, and how it may help your test subjects achieve a night of deep sleep.
We’ll cover the phenibut dosage for sleep, how strong it is, phenibut side effects, and so on.
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What Is Phenibut?
First, a quick crash course in brain biology. Understanding how phenibut works—and how it doesn’t—will help you understand why it may help with sleep and how to administer it to your test subjects properly.
Phenibut is a chain of amino acids that look to your body a lot like the neurochemicals your body makes naturally to send messages through the nervous system . Specifically, phenibut looks like γ-aminobutyric acid, also called GABA .
GABA slows down the nervous system
GABA is one of the body’s most important neurochemicals because it’s responsible for “depressing” your nervous system cells. When we say “depressing” we don’t mean making them feel sad. We mean reducing their activity.
Stimulants, like caffeine, work by exciting your nervous system —they get you amped up. Depressants are the opposite of stimulants. They work by reducing the excitability of your nervous system.
If you’ve ever had the jitters from coffee, you’ll know why sometimes it’s a good thing to have your nervous system relaxed a bit. Same with anxiety and stress: It can be really uncomfortable having your brain going a million miles a minute. Sometimes we need something to slow it down.
Phenibut mimics GABA
Phenibut binds to the GABAB receptors (and GABAA receptors when it’s taken in large quantities), and this ultimately has the same effect as GABA of chilling the brain out.
It also increases some other neurochemicals, like dopamine and serotonin. That’s why phenibut’s purported effects include lowered anxiety, reduced self-consciousness, and yes, even sleep. For example, in one small study of patients with anxiety disorder, phenibut was found to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and led to the reduction in symptoms of sleeping disorders .
Phenibut Side Effects and Safety
So, phenibut may be great for sleep, but is it safe?
Yes, phenibut in appropriate doses is well-tolerated by otherwise healthy individuals.
It’s used as a prescription drug in several countries precisely because it has been found to be effective and well-tolerated by most people . In the U.S., it’s classified as a “New Drug,” which means it’s not been investigated or approved for medical or other uses. But nootropic researchers are studying it to confirm its effects and determine if it could be a useful nootropic.
Researchers should be aware that phenibut has some side effects, that it can interact with other substances that depress the nervous system, and that there is a potential for abuse.
Phenibut side effects
Phenibut side effects are generally not severe or common. Of course, a person is more likely to have issues if they’re taking a lot of phenibut. But if your test subjects are taking normal amounts, most of them probably won’t have any trouble.
P.S: Read more about how to find the perfect phenibut dosage.
- Decreased consciousness
- Itchiness (from allergies to phenibut)
- Rashes (from allergies)
More severe, and also much rarer, side effects can include:
- Motor incoordination
- Hangover-like symptoms
- Loss of balance
Obviously, some of those are expected. Phenibut is used in some countries as a sleep aid, so “drowsiness” is unsurprisingly listed as a potential side effect.
Still, it’s good to know about potential adverse effects. Again, side effects are dose-dependent, so you can reduce the risk that your test subjects will experience these by having them consume a smaller dose.
Note that there has been at least one death reported to a U.S. poison center that was directly connected to phenibut use , so it’s critical to take safety precautions and ensure prudent dosing.
Phenibut interaction effects
Phenibut can also interact with other substances. This is where the biology lesson earlier was helpful.
Since phenibut works on the GABA pathways and depresses the nervous system, one should be really careful with other substances that do the same thing.
Alcohol is a big one.
Alcohol is a potent depressant. The “drunk” feeling comes from alcohol reducing activity in the frontal cortex, which is responsible for planning, logic, and complex judgments. Alcohol also depresses your motor cortex, which is why you end up having trouble walking if you drink too much and why you get slurred speech.
Alcohol also appears to have an effect on the GABA pathways .
Phenibut is a depressant, but it works in a bit of a different way. It doesn’t affect the frontal or motor cortex in nearly the same way, so people who consume phenibut don’t get the foggy or stumbly results that alcohol gives.
But since both alcohol and phenibut depress your nervous system, your test subjects really shouldn’t take them together. You should also tell your test subjects to avoid taking phenibut if they’re on any other medications that work on the GABA pathway or are depressants. For example, advise them to stay away from pairing phenibut with:
Dependence and withdrawal
Ensure your test subjects don’t take too much of it or take it too often. Keep your research protocol to 750 milligrams at a time and 2.5 grams a day as absolute maximum doses (these numbers are consistent with instructions for use when phenibut is used as a medication ).
If you follow all that guidance, you can conduct research on phenibut to improve sleep and maximize safety.
Phenibut for Sleep | The Basics
Phenibut seems to aid sleep but it doesn’t work like sleeping pills. It can actually be very strange because it often doesn’t seem to make test subjects tired until they’re actually in bed.
So it’s not like other substances, like sleeping pills, that will directly make the subject tired. Instead, it seems to enhance the feelings of sleepiness when the subject is already in bed and tired.
In other words, phenibut does something closer to melatonin where it just gets the brain ready to sleep when needed. But even melatonin sometimes makes one feel drowsy.
Try it in your own research and see if your test subjects report similar effects.
Evidence of phenibut for sleep
What does the research say about how much phenibut can help for sleep? Well, the majority of research on phenibut that has been done by researchers is published in Russian. Still, there definitely is some evidence that it’s effective.
In one study of 62 patients with anxiety, researchers found that participants in the group receiving phenibut had significant reductions in their sleep disorder symptoms .
In another published research report, Dr. Lapin reviews research in Russian about the effects of phenibut and notes that it’s a powerful sleep aid . Indeed, the title of his paper  is “Phenibut: A powerful tranquilizer and nootropic drug.”
If you’re calling something a “tranquilizer,” it’s probably going to help with sleep.
Other research has found phenibut to be a useful sleep aid for patients with alcoholic abstinence syndrome  and a small sample of children with tension headaches . It's also been found to be effective for reducing fatigue and boosting energy levels in a small sample of patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency  and in a small sample of children with asthenic disorders .
So it seems to be able to improve sleep while also helping to reduce symptoms of fatigue in some populations.
Phenibut Dosage for Sleep
Okay great, so what’s the best phenibut dose for research on sleep? Here’s a potential dosing protocol that is consistent with other research studies on phenibut and sleep :
- split into 1 to 3 doses throughout the day, mainly in the evening
- an hour before food or 2 to 3 hours after food—basically, on an empty stomach
Phenibut Micro-Dosing for Sleep
You may also wish to experiment with phenibut micro-dosing for better sleep. To take a micro phenibut dosage for sleep, try creating a research protocol with something like the following:
- 50/100mg up to 250 mg
- in 1 dose
- an hour before food or 2 to 3 hours after food
- an hour and a half before bed
Understanding the Phenibut Half-Life
The phenibut half-life is actually quite long. Research suggests that it’s about 5.3 hours . That means it takes over 5 hours for a 500 mg dose to reduce to about 250 mg in the bloodstream.
Half-life and length of effect aren’t the same thing, but it’s also true that the effects of phenibut last a relatively long time.
This is actually a really good thing for research on sleep because it means that when your test subjects take it in the morning or before dinner, they’re still going to get the good sleep effects when they go to bed that night.
And while the phenibut “high” is reported to last about 4 hours, the afterglow effects have been reported to hang around for up to 24 hours . That means your test subjects should get at least one good sleep out of it, and maybe even two.
Properly Timing Your Phenibut Dosage
Considering that timing, here’s how you can get the most out of research on phenibut for sleep:
- Get test subjects to take the phenibut dose for sleep about 2 hours before bed
- They’ll start to feel it kick in just before they go to bed
- They may notice the afterglow lasting throughout the next day
Where To Buy Phenibut Online | 2022 Guide
Here's some guidance for how you can buy phenibut online for research purposes.
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Phenibut for Sleep | Verdict
Sleep is one of the most powerful purported effects of phenibut. There’s a ton of potential for phenibut sleep research. We hope you’ll make a meaningful contribution to that literature.
As noted, start your test subjects off with a low phenibut dose for sleep to avoid any potential side effects. And remember that there is a potential for dependence, so you really don’t want them to be using phenibut for sleep every night. It should be used 1 or 2 days a week, maximum.