Is Phenibut a Good Choice for a Sleep Aid Supplement?

Most people take sleep for granted, and if you are one of those who can simply turn the lights off at bedtime and easily drift into deep sleep, you may not realize how lucky you are until you get to experience what many insomniacs struggle with every time they try to fall asleep.

Insomnia has never been such a common problem affecting millions of people worldwide as it is today. Stress, anxiety and many other modern-day mental disorders have led many people to seek help in getting them to enjoy normal, restful sleep.

There are several different treatment options available to insomnia sufferers, including cognitive behavioral therapy, prescription medications and over-the-counter sleep aid supplements. Many consumers prefer supplements over prescription pills because most dietary supplements are much safer and cheaper than prescription treatments.

One of the popular over-the-counter sleep aids is phenibut. What exactly is this substance and how effective and safe is it? Keep reading to find out more.

What is Phenibut?

Phenibut is a synthetic substance that is very structurally similar to the amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Phenibut works as an anxiolytic and hypnotic compound and it is commonly used to combat anxiety and induce sleep.

In order to understand how phenibut works, you first need to know how GABA works. The human body synthesizes GABA in the brain where it acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Long story short, GABA reduces neural excitability in the brain and induces calmness. The more GABA in your brain, the more calm and relaxed you feel.

Phenibut is an analog of GABA; a phenylated form of GABA. Once ingested, it gets absorbed into the bloodstream and makes its way into the brain where it effectively acts like GABA resulting in a feeling of relaxation. The effect can remain for several hours depending on the dosage and other factors.

What are Phenibut’s Benefits?

The main benefit of this supplement is that it calms down the brain and lowers anxiety levels. Because of its potent calming effect, phenibut works well as a sleep aid for many people who struggle with insomnia as a result of anxiety.

Additionally, there have been some reports claiming that phenibut enhances cognitive functions. While this may be true to some degree in those with anxiety problems, it has not been proven that this substance has any remarkable effects on cognitive performance in healthy individuals.

Is Phenibut Safe?

When consumed in standard low dosages, phenibut is generally safe. Some users may experience side effects, including nausea, dizziness, fatigue and others.

It is very important not to use this supplement at higher than recommended dosages to avoid the potential of developing unwanted side effects. It is also recommended to only take it once or twice a week and when extremely needed.

It is important to note that while it is treated as an over-the-counter supplement in some countries, phenibut is not a natural dietary supplement and should be used with caution. Do not take it with alcohol or other sleep or anxiety medications, and consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Where to Buy Phenibut?

Unfortunately, not many health stores sell phenibut because there have been reports of consumers misusing the product and manufacturers not providing clear usage instruction.

Amazon and a few other big retailers have decided not to carry supplements that contain phenibut, but there are still other smaller retailers that sell it. It is better to choose the capsules because the powder can be a hassle to handle, especially for inexperienced users.

Phenibut vs. GABA

As said earlier, phenibut is an analog of GABA and it has the same calming effect on the brain. GABA is also sold as a dietary supplement and it is considered safer than phenibut, but sadly, not as effective.

What makes phenibut more effective is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and take its effect inside the brain, whereas GABA fails to do the same and can only affect some parts of the body other than the brain.

However, this doesn’t mean that GABA is completely ineffective. In fact, many people have taken GABA as a sleep aid and reported having satisfactory results with it.

A lot of natural sleep formulas combine GABA with other sleep-promoting herbs, vitamins and minerals. Combining GABA with theanine (green tea extract) makes an effective mixture for a natural sleep remedy. You can also find other suggestions for effective natural sleep remedies here.


Phenibut is a synthetic remedy for sleep problems and anxiety that can be more effective than many other OTC supplements. It should be used carefully and as instructed to avoid potential side effects. This may not be the right product for some people so it is important that you make an in-depth research about it before you decide to make a purchase.