As we all know, quality sleep is the cornerstone of good health and overall well-being. The elusive eight hours of restful shut-eye is what we all aim for, but sometimes, it can feel just out of reach.
Enter collagen, the protein that's been making waves not only for its skincare and joint health benefits but also for its potential to enhance our sleep quality. In this blog, we'll delve into how collagen might hold the key to a more restful and rejuvenating night's sleep. So, let's explore the science behind collagen's connection to our night-time dreams and waking up feeling refreshed and revitalised.
How collagen enhances sleep quality
Collagen is rich in the amino acid, glycine. In particular, glycine helps the body make serotonin, a hormone and neurotransmitter that has significant effects on sleep and mood. It also influences key receptors in the brain that affect learning and memory.
Studies show that higher levels of this amino acid may:
- Help you fall asleep more quickly
- Increase your sleep efficiency
- Reduce symptoms of insomnia
- Improve sleep quality and promote deeper more restful sleep
- Help you regulate sleep cycles after disruption
Now, let's go into a few details of how this magic happens with a number of scientific studies.
A recent study of the effects of glycine as a supplement showed it triggered a drop in body temperature and at the same time helped people both fall asleep more quickly and spend more time in REM sleep. Other research has shown supplemental glycine may help you move more quickly into deep, slow-wave sleep.
So, how does it drop the body's temperature and how does that improve sleep? Well, glycine works to increase blood flow to the body’s extremities, which reduces core body temperature. The body’s fluctuating temperature affects sleep-wake cycles, and your ability to initially fall asleep. A slight drop in body temp is a key part of the body’s physical progression into sleep.
Glycine increases serotonin levels, which have a complex relationship with sleep. Among other things, serotonin is required to make the sleep hormone melatonin. In people who have difficulty sleeping or sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, increasing serotonin levels can help restore healthy sleep patterns, and encourage deeper, more restful and refreshing sleep.
Research shows that oral glycine elevates serotonin, reduces symptoms of insomnia, and improves sleep quality. Other studies suggest it may help you bounce back to healthy sleep cycles after a period of disrupted sleep.
Cognitive function and memory enhancement
Glycine is active in the hippocampus, an area of the brain important for memory and learning. In supplement form, glycine appears to deliver benefits for daytime cognitive function. In the same study that showed supplemental glycine made it easier to fall asleep and get to slow-wave sleep, scientists also found people scored higher on daytime cognition tests. Supplemental glycine has also been shown to improve both memory and attention in young adults.
While glycine doesn’t actually decrease fatigue, its effects in normalising your sleep patterns and in making sleep more effective help reduce patterns of fatigue. It also helps you feel more rested on less sleep since your sleep is more effective. In a study published by the Sleep and Biological Rhythms Society, researchers found that glycine produced improved feelings of clear-headedness and liveliness after consuming glycine before bedtime.
In another study volunteers were evaluated after three nights of sleep deprivation. The participants in the study had their sleep reduced by nearly two hours per night for three consecutive nights. Those who were given glycine before had significantly less fatigue, less daytime sleepiness, and higher daytime performance than those who ingested a placebo.
Low amino acid levels and fatigue
Significantly depleted amino acid levels have been associated with long-term fatigue. In a study provision of an amino acid supplement (containing glycine amongst other amino acids) for 30 days resulted in significant improvements in reported fatigue and sleep for 81% of the trial cohort with all females reporting improvements in fatigue. It was concluded that people suffering fatigue would be likely to experience significant benefits from amino acid supplementation.
Glycine and mental illness
Glycine helps treat mental illness. Researchers have seen positive effects in glycine treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, and in reducing symptoms of schizophrenia. It may also help reduce the effects of depression, especially if you have low glycine levels. Depression is associated with low glycine blood levels as well as high taurine levels.
Our Naked Collagen is the answer
Our Naked Collagen has 12g of pure hydrolysed collagen per serving, plus it's neutral in taste so can be stirred and used in anything from your morning oats to your glass of water that you use to take your supplements.
It's not only great for enhancing sleep, it also offers a natural way to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, support muscle growth and support your bones and joints.