Sleep disorders have become extremely prevalent over the past few years due to increased daily stress, as well as unhealthy sleep hygiene that disrupts our circadian rhythm.
One of the most common diseases out there is insomnia, which may display in two forms:
- Sleep-induction insomnia
- Maintenance insomnia
Unfortunately, this condition affects several physiological functions, including cognition, metabolism, and cardiovascular activity.
Due to the high prevalence of insomnia, people often look for solutions to improve their sleep, and one of the suggested solutions is collagen supplementation.
As you may know, collagen is an essential protein that’s ubiquitously found in our organism to make up different tissues and maintain the structural integrity of our organs.
However, what does collagen have to do with sleep?
In this article, we will review the scientific data that analyses the effects of collagen on sleep, as well as the role that glycine (a major amino acid found in collagen) plays in the induction of sleep.
To understand the effect of collagen on sleep, we first need to discuss the relationship between sleep and body temperature.
Despite what you have been taught in school, the human body temperature is not constant!
Throughout the day, our core temperature varies depending on the circadian rhythm. In essence, the hypothalamus synchronises low body temperature with your bedtime to ensure that you fall asleep.
Once you’re asleep, the temperature slightly decreases by about 0.5 Celsius.
While this fluctuation might seem insignificant, researchers found that lowering the body’s temperature is extremely important to induce somnolence.
Fortunately, glycine is a potent amino acid that lowers the body’s temperature, hence the effectiveness of collagen at improving sleep quality.
In a 2016 study, scientists found that ingesting 3 grams of glycine (the typical quantity found in two collagen serving) helped patients with sleep disorders to:
- Fall asleep faster
- Maintain their sleep for longer hours
- Optimise the quality of their sleep
Other noted benefits included improved cognition, energy levels, and concentration. Researchers concluded that “The glycine ingestion significantly improved the following elements: “fatigue”, “liveliness and peppiness”, and “clear-headedness”.”
Aside from this study, researchers have been well-aware of the positive effects of glycine on sleep, which were shown to be effective in animal and human subjects.
One of the reasons that this molecule has so much potential is because it does not possess any sedative properties since its mechanism of action revolves around the core body temperature.
Consequently, collagen protein supplements virtually have no side effects when taken to help with insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Collagen is a fantastic compound that offers a myriad of health benefits, including sleep and cognition optimisation.
Hopefully, this article helped you appreciate the mechanism of action that leads to this effect, as well as the science behind it.
If you tried collagen supplements to manage your sleep issues before, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below.