Amino Acids & Sleep

Amino acids, as the basic building blocks of proteins, are involved in almost all biological processes in our body and can also have a decisive influence on our sleep. Why and how L-tryptophan, glycine or arginine can improve our sleep quality and make it easier to fall asleep, you can find out here.

Table of contents

  1. What are amino acids?
  2. Amino acids & sleep
  3. The three amino acids for good sleep
    1. L-tryptophan
    2. Glycine
    3. Arginine
  4. Amino acids against sleep disorders
  5. Conclusion

What are amino acids?

About one fifth of the human body consists of amino acids and proteins. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins and form in every living being the natural basic material for physical tissue, cell structures, the muscles or the skin. In addition, amino acids are involved in almost all biological processes and are crucial for the healthy functioning of our body. Among other things, they regulate the transport and storage of nutrients, conduct nerve signals, influence important organ, metabolic and hormone functions and are essential for the repair, healing and regeneration of all bone and cell structures. Quite a lot of tasks, isn't it?

In order for us to remain healthy and efficient and for all biological processes in our body to run smoothly, a sufficient supply of amino acids is vital. Some amino acids cannot be produced by our body itself and must therefore be taken in through the daily diet to prevent a deficiency. Among the many deficiency symptoms are performance and muscle weaknesses, hair loss, but also mood swings, fatigue and disturbed sleep.

Amino Acids & Sleep

Sleep behaviour, sleep quality and the sleep-wake rhythm can be affected by a deficiency of amino acids. They influence important and sleep regulating functions of the body and especially during the night our organism is dependent on the important protein building blocks to regenerate sufficiently. But which amino acids are most important for a good and restful sleep and can they be used specifically to promote sleep?

The three amino acids for good sleep

L-tryptophan

Effect
Tryptophan belongs to the essential amino acids. It is converted in our body to the well-known neurotransmitter serotonin. The "happiness hormone" serotonin promotes relaxation, has a mood-lifting and calming effect on the mind and also has an influence on the sleep-wake rhythm. Towards evening and with increasing darkness, serotonin is converted in the brain into the sleep hormone melatonin, which significantly regulates sleep and ensures that we become tired and fall asleep in the evening. As a basic building block in the biosynthesis of serotonin and the subsequent conversion into melatonin, a sufficient supply of the amino acid L-tryptophan is therefore of great importance for a healthy sleep-wake rhythm.

This positive effect on sleep has also been proven in scientific studies, in which the additional intake of the amino acid was able to shorten the time it took to fall asleep and improve the quality of sleep of the test subjects.

Tryptophan, Serotonin & Melatonin

Occurrence and intake of tryptophan
Our body is not able to produce L-tryptophan and must absorb the amino acid completely from food. A particularly high content is found, for example, in soybeans, cashews, lentils or animal products such as veal and chicken, eggs or milk and dairy products. The recommended daily dose of L-tryptophan is between 250 mg and 1500 mg and can usually be secured through a balanced and healthy diet.

To promote sleep, it is recommended to take tryptophan in combination with carbohydrates and important B vitamins. Carbohydrates stimulate insulin production and facilitate the transport of amino acids into the brain, while B vitamins support the biosynthesis of L-tryptophan to serotonin and the sleep hormone melatonin.

Glycine

Effect
The smallest amino acid glycine is involved in numerous biological processes in the body and is not only an important building block of our DNA, but is fundamental for our memory and learning performance, the detoxification function of the body and the transmission of nerve stimuli in the brain.

Our sleep is particularly disturbed by prolonged stress and an excess of nervous stimuli, as these prevent a relaxed state of the body and disrupt the process of falling asleep. Glycine functions as a messenger substance in the central nervous system, where it is able to weaken signals and inhibit nerve stimuli, thus enabling physical and mental relaxation and reducing inner restlessness. A sufficient supply of glycine therefore supports restful sleep by weakening disturbing stimuli and optimally adjusting the body to rest and regeneration. This could also be determined in scientific studies. It has been observed that glycine, through its involvement in numerous brain and nerve functions, can ultimately improve the quality of sleep as well as the time it takes to fall asleep and reduce the subjective sensation of daytime tiredness.

Occurrence & intake of Glycine
Glycine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced in the body itself and additionally consumed through food. A healthy adult needs about 1 to 10 grams per day, but even higher doses of glycine are usually safe. In addition to the body's own production, the amino acid is found in almost all protein-containing foods, especially in meat, legumes as well as nuts.

Aminosäuren gegen Schlafstörungen: Besser einschlafen und erholsam durchschlafen

L-Arginine

Effect
Arginine is involved in numerous important regulatory and detoxification processes. As an important building block for the body's own production of nitric oxide, it has a positive effect on blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. In addition, it stimulates the release of growth hormones, is involved in the production of the energy carrier creatine and is significantly involved in the formation of collagen, enzymes, connective tissue and skin. Thus, it has a positive effect on muscle building, wound healing and the immune system.

L-arginine can have a positive effect on sleep, especially by stimulating liver activity and promoting the associated detoxification processes. The protein degradation product ammonia is a cell toxin that impedes cellular respiration and blocks energy production in our body. Thus, a high ammonia level disturbs healthy bodily functions and leads to insomnia. L-Arginine, on the other hand, stimulates detoxification processes and helps to bind the harmful substance more quickly, so that cell health is maintained and nothing stands in the way of a peaceful night's sleep.

Occurrence and intake of L-Arginine
L-arginine is a so-called semi-essential amino acid, which our body can form itself, but not in sufficient quantities. An additional supply of about 2 to 6 grams per day through food is therefore indispensable and especially important for health and growth in stressful phases of life, during pregnancy, injuries and for children and adolescents. L-arginine is contained in many protein-rich foods, especially in pumpkin seeds, meat, legumes or nuts.

Aminosäuren aus Nüssen, Hülsenfrüchten, Fleisch, Bananen, Milch

    Amino acids against sleep disorders

    Amino acids, as vital protein building blocks, fulfil countless functions that are fundamental for all biological processes in our body and also for our sleep. A lack of amino acids promotes sleep disorders and stands in the way of a restful night. A good supply of amino acids is therefore an urgent prerequisite for a healthy organism and restful sleep. While L-tryptophan has a particular effect on the sleep-wake rhythm and mood, glycine promotes relaxation and falling asleep and, like L-arginine, protects our body and brain from stress, harmful substances and other disturbing factors. It is therefore worthwhile in any case to pay attention to a balanced amino acid ratio and to improve sleep through a targeted supply of L-tryptophan, L-arginine or even glycine.

    In this article you will learn how not only the intake of amino acids, but also the general diet influences sleep.

    Heads up. If you want to support your sleep by taking additional amino acids via dietary supplements, you should always make sure that the nutrients contained are of high quality and of natural origin. Then you will receive natural support for your sleep and supply your body with important nutrients for all-round healthy functioning during the day and at night.


    Conclusion

    • Amino acids, as the basic building blocks of proteins, are involved in almost all biological processes and are crucial for healthy functioning of our body and undisturbed sleep.
    • L-tryptophan is important for the production of the hormones serotonin and melatonin, thus has a relaxing and positive effect on a healthy sleep-wake rhythm, which supports falling asleep and promotes sleep.
    • Glycine calms the nervous system, reduces stress and promotes relaxation, which can improve sleep quality, time to fall asleep and daytime sleepiness.
    • L-Arginine detoxifies and protects cells from harmful breakdown products, which promotes a peaceful and undisturbed sleep.

    Best regards and see you soon!

    2 comments

    Hallo Angela!

    Um schneller einzuschlafen und das Durchschlafen zu unterstützen haben wir aktuell drei Produkte: Die RELAX&SLEEP Entspannungskapseln, die SLEEP+ Einschlafkapseln und das SLEEP SPRAY. Haben deine Tochter und dein Mann denn viel Stress und können schlecht entspannen? Manchmal hilft es bereits, abends bewusst zur Ruhe zu kommen. In diesem Fall könntet ihr zunächst die Entspannungskapseln ausprobieren. Sie helfen dabei, gute Voraussetzungen für den Schlaf zu schaffen und enthalten unter anderem die Aminosäure L-Tryptophan, zu der du in diesem Artikel einige Informationen findest. Wenn fehlende Entspannung eher kein Thema ist, würde ich euch die SLEEP+ Kapseln mit Melatonin empfehlen. Ausreichend Melatonin ist sehr wichtig für einen gesunden Schlafrhythmus und unsere Kombination mit pflanzlichen Extrakten und Magnesium trägt auf natürliche Weise zu einem ruhigen Schlaf bei. Letztendlich ist der Schlaf ja immer eine sehr individuelle Sache, deshalb solltet ihr am besten herausfinden, welche Faktoren dem Schlaf deiner Tochter und deines Mannes im Weg stehen und demnach entscheiden, ob ihr es erstmal mit den Entspannungskapseln oder direkt mit den Einschlafkapseln versuchen möchtet. Ich wünsche euch viel Erfolg bei der Ursachenfindung und hoffe, dass du und deine Familie bald erholsamer schlafen könnt!

    Liebe Grüße
    Alisia

    Alisia von smartsleep® October 25, 2021

    Hallo Alisia, meine erwachsene Tochter kann sehr schlecht ein- und durchschlafen. Meinem Mann geht es ebenso. Welches Produkt von euch sollten Sie nehmen?
    LG Angela

    Angela Krys October 22, 2021

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