Amino Acids and Sleep

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

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 the natural base material for physical tissue, cell structures, muscles or skin in every living being. 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 crucial for the repair, healing and regeneration of all bone and cell structures. Quite a lot of tasks, isn't it?

Sufficient supply of amino acids is vital to ensure that we remain healthy and efficient and that all biological processes in our body run smoothly. Some amino acids cannot be produced by our body itself and must therefore be ingested through daily food to prevent deficiency. The diverse deficiency symptoms include performance and muscle weaknesses, hair loss, but also mood swings, tiredness and disturbed sleep.

Amino acids & sleep

Sleep behavior, sleep quality and the sleep-wake cycle can be affected by a lack 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 in order 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 is one of 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-enhancing and calming effect on the mind and also has an influence on the sleep-wake cycle. Towards evening and as it gets darker, serotonin is converted in the brain into the sleep hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep to a large extent and ensures that we get tired and fall asleep in the evening. As a basic building block in the biosynthesis of serotonin and the later conversion into melatonin, an adequate supply of the amino acid L-tryptophan is of great importance for a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

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

Tryptophan, Serotonin & Melatonin

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

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 to 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 component of our DNA, but fundamental for our memory and learning performance detoxification function of the body and the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain.

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

Occurrence & intake of glycine
Glycine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced in the body itself and is also ingested through food. A healthy adult needs around 1 to 10 grams per day, but 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 and 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 nitrogen oxides, it has a positive effect on blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. It also 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 the skin. It has a positive effect on muscle building, wound healing and the immune system.

L-arginine can have a positive effect on sleep, above all by stimulating liver activity and promoting the associated detoxification processes. The protein degradation product ammonia is a cytotoxin that impedes cell respiration and blocks energy production in our body. For example, high levels of ammonia disrupt healthy bodily functions and lead to insomnia. L-arginine, on the other hand, stimulates the 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 sleep.

Occurrence and intake of L-arginine
L-arginine is a so-called semi-essential amino acid that our body can produce itself, but not in sufficient quantities.An additional supply of around 2 to 6 grams per day through food is therefore essential and important for health and growth, especially in stressful phases of life, during pregnancy, in the event of injuries as well as 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

    As essential protein building blocks, amino acids fulfill countless functions that are fundamental to all biological processes in our body and 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 requirement for a healthy organism and restful sleep. While L-tryptophan has a particular effect on the sleep-wake cycle 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 glycine.

    In this article you can find out how not only the intake of amino acids but also general nutrition influences sleep.

    Attention! If you would like to support your sleep by taking additional amino acids from dietary supplements, you should always ensure that the nutrients contained are of high quality and of natural origin. Then you get natural support for your sleep and provide your body with important nutrients for all-round healthy functioning day and night.


    Conclusion

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

    Greetings and see you soon!

    .

    4 comments

    Hallo Tomi,

    oh nein, das hört sich gar nicht gut an! Grundsätzlich kommt es erst einmal darauf an, aus welchen Gründen du so starke Probleme mit dem Ein- und Durchschlafen hast. Da du sehr starke Beschwerden beschreibst, möchte ich dir auf jeden Fall eine ärztliche Abklärung deines Gesundheitszustandes ans Herz legen.

    Wie bereits im Artikel beschrieben kann sich vor allem L-Tryptophan nicht nur positiv auf die Entspannung vor dem Schlaf auswirken, sondern spielt auch in der Regulierung des Schlaf-Wach-Rhythmus eine wichtige Rolle. Es kann so dazu beitragen, dass sich dein Hormonspiegel (z. B. Melatoninsynthese) besonders am Abend stabilisiert und du besser einschlafen kannst. Bitte beachte aber, dass Aminosäuren keine direkten (Ein-) Schlafmittel sind und “nur” die gesunden Funktionen deines Körpers unterstützen.

    Ich wünsche dir alles Gute und hoffe, dass du so bald wie möglich wieder erholsam schlafen kannst!

    Liebe Grüße
    Alisia

    Alisia von smartsleep® 19. January 2022

    Guten Tag,
    Ich kann sehr schlecht einschlafen und durchschlafen. Bin schon so erschöpft das mein Körper aufgrund dessen erbrechen muss. Welche Aminosäuren kann ich nehmen um ein und durchschlafen zu können?
    Würde mich auf eine Antwort freuen.
    LG Tomi

    Tomi 19. January 2022

    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® 25. October 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 22. October 2021

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