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Why is Phenibut used for Sleep? - 4 Tips to Consider

Phenibut has tranquilizing effects


Phenibut is commonly prescribed for anxiety treatment and as a sleeping aid in Russia. It is not used as a medical substance in the West, but it can be bought as a supplement. Phenibut is known as a GABA-agonist and it specifically targets GABA-B receptors to achieve its effects, as well as stimulating dopamine production (increases mood).

This is a very interesting mechanism and similar to the mode of action of many other anti-anxiety substances including benzodiazepines. At higher doses, phenibut is thought to also target GABA-A receptors – the same receptors that are targeted by alcohol.[1]


Phenibut can be used as a sleeping aid

Phenibut works in such a way that it helps to depress signals from the Central Nervous System (CNS). People with anxiety often suffer from insomnia as a result of their constant worrying (sometimes subconsciously).

Anxiety is often linked to hypersensitivity, irritability and impatience[2]. Phenibut works primarily as an anxiolytic, which means it acts against anxiety. By depressing signals from the CNS, the main effects of anxiety, including insomnia, can be reduced.


Phenibut helps to reduce the higher than normal CNS signals commonly associated with anxiety and works as an aid in achieving a good night’s sleep. However, like alcohol, which is also a GABA-agonist, higher doses may interfere with natural sleeping patterns.

Human sleeping patterns are intricate and are easily influenced.[3] After having a few drinks, you may feel like you’ve slept the entire night but have actually missed a whole number of sleep cycles due to the effects of alcohol.

The same may be true for phenibut, although this has not been studied sufficiently. We recommend using a low dose if you are using phenibut to aid in sleep.


Is there a hangover after using phenibut?

Phenibut generally does not produce any hangover effects, which makes it a good choice as a sleeping aid. However, higher doses can produce hangover effects and grogginess the next day. Also, since phenibut lasts for a long time in the body, it is not recommended to use phenibut more than twice per week to prevent the body from building a tolerance.

Phenibut works as a substance that aids in reducing anxiety, boosting mood and promoting a feeling of calmness. This may allow the user to fall asleep easier.[4]


Natural sleeping aids


If you have anxiety or difficulty falling asleep then phenibut may provide a short-term solution (not more than twice weekly). It would be a good idea to see a psychologist for anxiety or a health practitioner for insomnia. Healthy eating and an active lifestyle will also help to aid in getting a good night’s sleep. rest-phenibut

Using phenibut requires cycling. The body builds up a tolerance to phenibut easily, and we recommend using phenibut no more than twice a week.

If you are using phenibut to aid in falling asleep we’d recommend trying a low dose (no more than 300mg) to prevent a possible interference in natural sleeping patterns.

Check out our Ultimate Phenibut Guide!

On the off days in the phenibut cycle, there are other natural sleeping aids that may help. These include:

  • Chamomile (often taken as a tea)
  • Valerian
  • Melatonin supplements
  • L-theanine (see our products page)[5]



[1] Phenibut (β-Phenyl-GABA): A Tranquilizer and Nootropic Drug, Lapin, I, CNS Drug Reviews

Volume 7, Issue 4, pages 471–481, December 2001

[2] The Basics on Generalized Anxiety, Anxieties.com: http://www.anxieties.com/116/the-basics-on-generalized-anxiety#.V0lZZJN961s, retrieved 26-05-2016

[3] Natural Patterns of Sleep, Division of Sleep Medicine at

Harvard Medical School, December 2007: http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/what/sleep-patterns-rem-nrem, retrieved 26-05-2015

[4] Phenibut supplement side effects, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms, dose and dosage, caution, danger, adverse reactions, addiction, capsules, powder, Ray Sahelian, M.D., January 2016, retrieved 26-05-2016

[5] Natural Sleep Aids, Matthiessen, C. WebMD Feature:

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/sleep-supplements-herbs, retrieved 25-05-2016