Phenibut for Sleep: An Effective Sleeping Aid?

Updated on April 23, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

To help you get that deep rest you’re looking for, nootropics like Phenibut can act as an effective and very potent sleep aid supplement.

Many have claimed the drug helps them with their insomnia better than prescription medications.

Everything you need to know about this powerful nootropic and how it can help you get the beauty sleep you need will be in this topic.

Phenibut for Sleep Overview

Phenibut β phenyl GABA (Phenibut beta phenyl GABA), a CNS drug, is a treatment for anxiety and other related conditions such as sleep deprivation.

One of the more interesting side effects that have been reported by users is a change in their normal dream patterns.

This may be caused by the increase in REM sleep associated with taking Phenibut.

phenibut for sleep overview

In many cases, this means that they begin to remember their dreams, and they seem to be more vivid.

Some people find that their dreams are better and become more pleasant. Most people also report that they sleep much more soundly and wake up feeling more refreshed.

Phenibut reviews are generally positive, although some Phenibut withdrawal symptoms have been experienced in some instances.

In the United States, Phenibut is legal to possess, but not approved as a licensed pharmaceutical drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In this age of COVID-19, many people are trying to cope with anxiety and may wish to find a ‘natural’ product to alleviate their symptoms.

How does Phenibut Work as a Sleep Aid?

The effects of Phenibut are primarily linked to its agonistic behavior on GABA B receptors in the central nervous system. In contrast, the form of GABA used in supplements acts as an agonist of GABA A receptors.

how does phenibut work as a sleep aid

Both GABA receptors induce an inhibitory or depressant effect on brain waves, creating a sense of calm or relaxation.

Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA), a tranquilizer and nootropic drug CNS is also shown to stimulate dopamine receptors in the brain, creating a simultaneously relaxing and euphoric effect.

This is considered to cure or prevent insomnia, anxiety, fear-based pathologies, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Users have the option of using multiple alternative ingredients that would elicit similar effects but non-psychoactive and, therefore, non-addictive.

The primary alternative to Phenibut is its natural cousin and fellow GABA-receptor agonist, β phenyl γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA-gamma aminobutyric acid). Thus it does not cross the blood-brain barrier.

It has been shown to induce a calming, anxiolytic effect on the brain that can be used for hyperstimulation conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and hyperactivity.

L-theanine, an amino acid found primarily in green tea leaves, can help promote relaxation and sleep.

A study of individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) found that L-theanine administered daily over eight weeks decreased anxiety, depressive symptoms, stress, and sleep disturbances.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an intermediary compound produced by the body as it converts the amino acid tryptophan to melatonin or serotonin, which greatly helps the nervous system to normalize the circadian rhythm.

Due to its ability to increase serotonin levels, 5-HTP is commonly utilized to treat serotonin deficiency-related symptoms.

There appear to be relatively few controlled research studies that have thoroughly investigated the use of Phenibut as a potential sleep aid.

phenibut for sleep featured image

Much of the evidence for its use comes from a 2001 study published in CNS Drug Reviews.

As one of the nootropics, it does appear to have the potential to help individuals fall asleep. When taken in higher doses, the substance may interfere with sleep quality, particularly REM sleep.

It is better to consult your health care provider before the administration of such supplements.

Dosage and How to Use Phenibut to Sleep Better?

A recommended smaller serving size of Phenibut HCl would be around 250-350 mg capsules, taken two to three times daily.

dosage and how to use phenibut for sleep

This lower serving produces a mild mood increase and a feeling of calmness. It has been said by some to also improve sociability at this lower dose.

For a higher dosage, between 500-750 mg could be taken twice daily, depending on how strong you’d like the effects to be.

If you take these larger serving sizes, you still get the mood-lift and calm sensation and some increased sociability.

Phenibut should not be used more than twice a week to prevent a tolerance build-up.

Based on studies, tolerance build-up means that you need more of the substance to achieve the same results. This is one of the most common causes of Phenibut dependence and overdoses in chemicals like benzodiazepines or even alcohol.

If you feel like you aren’t getting the same results from your usual serving size, please take a week or two off, rather than merely increasing the amount taken.

It’s important to start with a low dose if it’s your first time taking Phenibut and wait to see how it affects you before redosing.

Phenibut is not to be taken with any other drugs or alcohol because using Phenibut with alcohol or benzodiazepines increases both substances’ effects and increases the risk of an overdose.

It is advisable to seek medical advice as this may lead to health risks once left untreated.

Who is Phenibut for?

Phenibut might be a good fit for you if you are looking to deepen and increase your sleep quality and if you’re battling stress in the day.

who is phenibut for

It is for you if you have a good handle on yourself, avoid alcohol, and not have an abusive personality.

Phenibut would not be for you if you cannot control your emotional state - prone to intense mood swings, have an addictive personality, and are substance-dependent to mask depression or similar issues.

As always, with any nootropics, please keep yourself informed and do your research studies on any possible drug interactions with alcohol and other medications/supplements before use.

Benefits and Effects

The benefits of Phenibut may be quite extensive for anyone suffering from anxious thoughts or anyone who simply wants to be able to relax more.

Some of the Phenibut benefits for overall health reported in various user reviews and testimonials are the following:

  • relieves anxiety and stress
  • promotes calm and relaxation
  • reduces social anxiety
  • improves communication skills
  • increases memory function
  • can help you perform better academically
  • regulates proper sleep patterns
  • reduces insomnia and restless leg syndrome
  • increases REM phases
  • may lead to increased secretion of growth hormones
  • improves reaction time in social environments.

Potential Side Effects

Phenibut side effects are generally not severe or common.

Among these include nausea, drowsiness, irritability and agitation, psychosis, headache, hangover effects, itchiness, and rashes (from allergies to Phenibut).

Some possible adverse effects include dehydration, nausea, dizziness, cravings, and dependence.

Phenibut is not addictive if you use it responsibly.

The problem is that the positive effects are so incredible that you may not want to wait in between doses. But keep in mind that it does not diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

If you end up dependent on Phenibut, you could experience the following withdrawal symptoms: anxiety, depression, nightmares (caused by REM rebound), delusions, insomnia, and hallucinations.


Let us answer your questions here.

How Long does Phenibut Last?

The half-life of Phenibut is around 5 hours, at a dosage of 250 mg.

It has a delayed onset of 2-4 hours before you start feeling effects, and you won’t feel the peak until 7 hours after taking the capsules.

So if you take a serving size of 250 mg, you can expect to feel effects for around 5 – 6 hours. At larger servings, the results of these nootropics may last for longer than this.

Can You Use Phenibut Everyday?

It is recommended that you cycle Phenibut in your nootropic stack and do not use it daily.

It should not be used more than twice a week to prevent withdrawal and tolerance build-up.

If you aren’t getting the same results from your usual serving size, have a week or two off, rather than simply increasing the amount taken.

Is Phenibut Safe?

Yes, Phenibut is safe.

Just take it no more than two times per week maximum.

It is also highly recommended that you leave a two or three-day gap between use.

When used as directed by healthy individuals, Phenibut is considered possibly safe and has low reported side effects.

Never mix Phenibut with alcohol or other sedatives as it could lead to a condition known as respiratory depression.

Pregnant and nursing women are also advised not to use this substance.


Phenibut is a synthetic version of GABA that crosses the blood-brain barrier and can elicit psychoactive effects on the brain.

Phenibut is marketed as a dietary supplement and appears to have sedative-like properties.

This supplement may relax individuals and help them fall asleep; however, it has significant dangers associated with its use, including the development of physical dependence and the potential for toxic effects.

Use the drug under the supervision of a licensed physician.