Analysing Collagen Sleep Benefits: Can Collagen Help You Sleep Better?
This article has been independently verified for accuracy by Dr Harshi Dhingra MD.
Without sufficient sleep, our mood, cognitive function, and overall performance drastically decline. Research even indicates moderate sleep deprivation of 17-19 hours is similar to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%.
Inevitably, a lack of sleep leads to less than ideal circumstances. You might feel irritable and, well, straight-up exhausted. Over the long-term, poor sleep may also significantly impact your quality of life, health, and overall happiness.
If you struggle with sleep, know you aren’t alone. About one in every five individuals in the U.K. don’t get enough sleep, with some dipping well below an average of five hours of sleep per night.
So, what can you do about it? Surprisingly, collagen and sleep might go hand-in-hand. You might already know that collagen has vast benefits when it comes to skin health and anti-aging. So, how can collagen help you sleep better? Let’s dive in!
Does Collagen Help With Sleeping?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. This means it’s a building block for a variety of tissues and is involved in a variety of essential processes that keep you functioning optimally.
Unfortunately, as time goes on, the body’s ability to replenish collagen significantly declines. On top of this, our modern diets aren’t as rich in collagen as our ancestors. This is primarily because we tend to opt for muscle meats or even more processed foods that don’t contain collagen-rich contents. This further means that we aren’t replacing collagen adequately via the food we eat (and we actually might be ageing faster because of it!).
So, how are collagen and sleep linked?
It’s important to note that collagen isn’t the be-all and end-all to improving your sleep (more on this in a bit). Yet, it can play a role here.
Collagen contains glycine, an amino acid involved in various functions such as helping with digestion, aiding in energy production, helping with blood sugar regulation, and contributing to the production of certain hormones. It further has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. (That’s one powerful amino acid!)
Now, when it comes to sleep, research has further demonstrated the power of glycine. It’s suggested that glycine may improve overall sleep quality, as well as reduce daytime sleepiness. In turn, it can play a valuable role in regulating our circadian rhythm, ensuring we get a good night’s rest.
On top of this, glycine may improve mood. Why does this matter when it comes to sleep? Well, it may play a role in boosting serotonin, which is then used to make melatonin in the body. Melatonin is the reason we feel sleepy close to bedtime. Having proper levels of these hormones can help regulate that sleep-wake cycle and help you fall asleep easier.
Lastly, since collagen can improve digestive health by supporting the gut walls, this might also help regulate energy levels throughout your day and help you avoid any stomach aches or pains leading up to bedtime, especially if you tend to have indigestion around this time of the day.
But again, collagen shouldn’t be your all-inclusive go-to for getting a better sleep. You’ll also want to consider the following:
- Waking up and going to bed at the same time.
- Exposing yourself to sunlight during the day and, especially, first-thing in the morning.
- Having a proper bedtime routine to unwind and relax so your body can get into sleep mode. Some great examples include reading, doing yoga, meditating, practising deep breathing, listening to relaxing music, journalling, or drawing a warm bubble bath.
- Avoiding screens one to two hours before bed and during the night.
- Ensuring your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. If this isn’t possible, consider investing in earplugs, a fan, and an eye mask.
- Moving during your day. Getting enough exercise during your day can actually help you sleep better at night!
- Avoiding large meals close to bedtime.
- Avoiding caffeine after 2 pm.
- Limiting alcohol before bed.
- Limiting or avoiding daytime naps. These can throw off your circadian rhythm.
- Taking a closer look at your mattress and pillow. Are they right for you? If you wake up with a sore back or neck, you may want to invest in a new mattress or pillow or consider changing your sleep position (lying on your back may prevent morning pains!).
If you’ve tried all the above with no improvements in your sleep, it may be time to visit a specialist. A sleep specialist may recommend a sleep study where they can monitor your sleeping patterns and determine if anything else is going on, such as a sleep disorder.
Using Collagen For Sleep
If you want to improve your sleep a little bit and your overall health, taking a collagen supplement, such as So Body Co’s Collagen Powder, may complement what you’re already doing. Plus, collagen supplements have many other health benefits including improved skin health, stronger nails, healthier hair, decreased joint pain, increased muscle mass, enhanced bone health, and more.
So, how should you use collagen for sleep? What should you know? Let’s take a look at a few of these common questions.
Is It OK To Take Collagen Before Bed?
Taking collagen at night and before bed is actually often recommended. During the night and as you sleep is when collagen works its magic. During sleep, the body focuses on recovery and repair, which involves using collagen. For example, getting a few good nights’ sleep after a tough workout aids in recovery by helping the muscles repair and grow. And yes, collagen plays a vital role in doing so!
You can opt to drink collagen before sleep in a light smoothie or tea. Remember, we don’t want to eat anything heavy right before bed. You also want to be careful with the amount of liquids you consume before bed as you don’t want to spend the night rushing to the bathroom.
Research suggests taking about three grams of glycine, which is found in 15 grams of collagen, can be consumed about an hour or two before bedtime for optimal results.
In other good news, taking collagen before bed may help with blood sugar regulation as you sleep. Many individuals wake up in the early hours of the morning (or the middle of the night!) due to blood sugar dysregulation. When our blood sugar drops, the body pumps out cortisol to compensate. Cortisol helps generate glucose and rebalance blood sugar levels. However, it also wakes you up and makes it tricky to fall back asleep.
Since collagen is a protein, it may slow digestion, giving your body a steady flow of energy versus having any huge spikes in blood sugar followed by big dips, which stimulate the release of cortisol.
Which Collagen Is Best for Sleep?
Generally, whether it’s used for sleep or not, the best collagen for sleep is hydrolyzed collagen peptides, which can be taken in supplement form. These collagen peptides can be sourced from bovine (cow) or marine derivatives (unless you have a fish or shellfish allergy). A good example of a good source of collagen for sleep is So Body Co’s Collagen Peptides.
Your Sleep Matters More Than You Think!
Sleep isn’t where you should be cutting corners. In fact, doing so may drastically accelerate ageing processes in your body and lead to decreased health and happiness. Overall, if you’re struggling to get good sleep, it’s crucial to prioritise this. Experiment. What tips above can you use to have a restful night? Can collagen help? Try it out and see!
At the very least, taking collagen has various other health benefits. For a youthful glow and healthy hair and nails, collagen is the “it” supplement. We know we don’t get enough of it from our diets. Thus, most people can gain many health advantages by including collagen supplementation in their regular health and wellness routine.