The Top 5 Calming Nootropics

The Top 5 Calming Nootropics

Sit back, take a deep breath, and relax. Nothing? Lay down, breathe slowly and take long, deep breaths. Still having trouble relaxing? Don’t worry: There are nootropics that can help. In this post, we’re going to look at the top 5 calming nootropics. These are all substances that can help you relax. Each one of them is effective and safe for most people. First, though, let’s examine what it means to be calm.

Just Chill

If only it was that easy. In our fast-paced world, our minds are often forced to be in go-mode all day long. We are constantly bombarded with information from all angles: family, friends, television, the internet, social media, our phones, etc. This can make it really hard for our brains to just chill out and relax. Being calm means to be free of anxiety, nervousness, anger, obsessions, and other undesirable thoughts and feelings. These things are all necessary for survival but can become problematic when they never go away. Some people have trouble quieting their minds and experiencing a sense of calmness. Why is it hard for some people to be calm? Like most things, it comes down to biology and environment.

Finding Calm by Water

If you’re like me, you love going to the beach. It doesn’t matter how stressed out I am, what mood I’m in, or anything else: When I go to the beach, I always feel calm and collected. There’s just something about being near the water, hearing the waves crash, toes in the sand, that makes me feel calm. When I’m at home, however, I’m often stressing out about this, that, or the other thing. My mind is anything but calm, racing at 100 mph, thinking about all the things I have to do. Environment plays a huge role in how calm we feel. If you’re always in places that make you feel stressed and high strung, you’re never going to experience real calmness. Taking a break from your everyday reality and going somewhere that relaxes you is a great way to feel calm.

Finding Calm Amid Chaos

Calm at the beach.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Because of work, family, and other responsibilities, it’s often hard to get away from the places that stress you out. Fortunately, there are several nootropics that will work no matter what environment you are in. The other thing that determines how easily and often you feel calm is biology. Some people’s brains are wired to be calm most of the time. However, most people’s aren’t.Biology and genetics make it hard or even impossible for some people to ever feel calm. Over time, this chronic stress can take a serious toll on your health. That includes your mental heath, which can impact productivity. Fortunately, there are several substances that can help even the most high-strung people feel a sense of calmness.

Some of these substances aren’t typically thought of as nootropics. But if they help you to improve mental performance and productivity, I’d argue that they are nootropics.

Let’s take a look at some of these substances that can be used to promote a sense of calmness.

Top 5 Calming Nootropics


This is an amino acid analog that was first discovered in 1949. It’s incredibly popular in the nootropics community because it is effective for most people and very safe.

The Top 5 Calming Nootropics 1

L-theanine (sometimes just called theanine) is naturally found in green tea. To experience l-theanine’s calming effects, you’d have to drink gallons of it. Fortunately, it is readily available in supplement form.

Users of l-theanine often report a calming effect without much sedation. This makes it ideal for when you want to relax but still have stuff to do.

One of the most popular ways to take l-theanine is with caffeine. Caffeine, on its own, can be too stimulating for some people. It can cause anxiety and restlessness. Taking l-theanine with caffeine reduces or eliminates these side effects, leaving you with a sense of calm focus.

There are products that have both caffeine and l-theanine in them, making it easy to experience the benefits of this stack. Or you can buy l-theanine by itself and take it with your preferred caffeine source.

Lemon Balm

This is a plant that has been used around the world for centuries. Its official name is Melissa officinalis and it’s been used in traditional medicine to treat insomnia, stomach and liver problems, and nervous system disorders.

Lemon balm plant

At higher dosages, lemon balm can be a bit sedating. This makes it an excellent natural substance for sleep. At lower dosages, it can promote a nice sense of calmness.

Lemon balm is readily available and easy to find. It’s often included in many herbal stress-relief and sleep formulas.


This is another plant that grows naturally in several parts of the world. Sometimes referred to as nature’s Valium, valerian has been used all over the world to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and promote a sense of calmness.

Valerian has a very strong scent and taste to it which some people find unpleasant. Fortunately, it’s available in capsule, powder, and tincture forms, as well as in its natural plant form.

Some users find valerian to be just as effective at reducing anxiety as prescription medications. Extensive research has shown that it has a noticeable stress-reducing effect.

Most people consider valerian safe to take. However, if you’re already taking medication for anxiety or sleep, valerian may increase the effectiveness of those drugs. This is true of all the substances on this list. It’s a good idea to check with your prescriber before taking any new supplements, drugs, plants, or anything else.


This is yet another plant. Kava, also known as kava kava, grows naturally in many Pacific regions. Like valerian and lemon balm, people have used kava for centuries to promote a sense of calmness.

Also like valerian, studies have shown that kava can be just as effective at reducing anxiety as prescription drugs for some people. Many users find that it reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood, and induces an overall sense of calm contentedness.

Some people find kava to be a bit sedating but most, at reasonable dosages, do not. In several Pacific island communities, kava serves the same purpose as alcohol in American and European communities. Users typically consume it as a liquid to experience increased calmness and relaxation.


Well, what do you know – another plant! Similar to the three plants above, people have used ashwagandha medicinally around the world for centuries. It generally offers a number of potential benefits and people generally tolerate it well.

One of the benefits of ashwagandha that makes it so popular is its ability to reduce stress and promote a sense of calmness. Some people say that ashwagandha’s calming effect is noticeable after the first dose, but it can often take a couple weeks for its benefits to be noticeable.

Ashwagandha, known as an adaptogen, affects several of the body’s systems. It comes with an impressive list of potential benefits: decreased anxiety, improved mood, increased motivation, reduced social anxiety, reduced fatigue, reduced cortisol, improved cholesterol levels, reduced blood pressure, and improved sexual function – just to name a few.

Honorable Mentions

A rhodiola rosea plant.

There are a few more nootropics I’d like to just briefly mention. As someone in the comments noted, rhodiola rosea can have a reliable calming effect for some people. Rhodiola, like most other substances on this list, is a plant that grows naturally in some parts of the world. You can learn more here: The Benefits of Rhodiola Rosea.

Also worth mentioning are aniracetam and fasoracetam. These two are not plants. They belong to a class of drugs called racetams and are popular nootropics. Users often report a reduction in anxiety and say these substances put them in a state of calm focus. I’m one of those users. I’ve found both to have a focus-enhancing, anxiety-reducing effect. You can learn more about aniracetam here: Aniracetam For Anxiety and Focus. And you can learn more about fasoracetam here: Fasoracetam – An Anxiety-Reducing Nootropic.

Also read our blog on Yohimbe Benefits

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