If sleeping was a sport then I bet a lot of people would sign up for it. Sleep is one thing we can agree to, that is so important for us to function properly every day.
Problem is, not everybody has the luxury of good sleep. A lot of factors can cause lack of sleep ranging from lifestyle, diet choices, and even your mental health. Sleep deprivation can cause a lot of problems to our body including but not limited to:
- Unwanted weight gain
- Lowered brain function
- Weaker respiratory system
- More susceptible to disease
- Increased chance of chronic cardiovascular health problems.
That’s why experts tell us to always get ample sleep every night.
But what if you just can’t? Well, maybe Glycine will work for you.
What is Glycine?
It’s not something you hear every day but it is used every day by your body for it to perform properly. It is an amino acid that is important for various metabolic, cognitive, and muscle functions. For starters, it’s a requirement in the breaking down and transport of much-needed nutrients such as glycogen and fat in order to be “burned” to become energy for the body.
In our body, you can find most of the Glycine on our skin, the muscle tissues, and connective tissues. It is not an essential amino acid and can easily be found from regular protein sources.
Why is Glycine Good for Sleeping
Alright, so why do some people say it’s also great for people who want to earn back lost sleep?
If you want to be technical about it, Glycine goes through passive diffusion through our blood-brain barrier and affects the NMDA receptors. The NMDA receptors, or N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, are the ones who are responsible for preventing your muscles from moving too much during REM. NMDA receptors also lower your body’s core temperature to make sleep much more relaxing for the body.
There are also studies showing us that Glycine administered orally can help increase levels of serotonin in the body without affecting dopamine levels which help normalise one’s Circadian rhythms. Aside from helping you sleep “better”, it can also help reverse the effects of sleep deprivation.
In more simple terms, it helps you sleep like a baby at night. With proper supplementation, Glycine can give your body that much needed “rest” it deserves from a good night’s sleep.
Aside from that, it makes you less tired upon waking up and makes you more alert throughout the day. Coupled with various amino acids, it is perfect for people who have trouble getting a full night’s sleep and is suffering from sleep deprivation.
What are the other Uses of Glycine
So Glycine is good for sleep quality, but is that the only thing it is good for?
Not at all. Glycine has other benefits that will make you realise how great it is as a supplement.
- It is anti-inflammatory – As an inflammatory inhibitor, it acts as a suppressor of transcription factors and prevents the formation of inflammatory cytokines and free radicals. In rats, it was found to be great in the production of IL-10 which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the liver.
- Glycine makes your skin healthier – When people take in Collagen, they also take in amounts of Glycine in the process. This makes the skin of elderly patients healthier and results in improved skin moisture. It also makes skin ulcers heal faster by twice the regular speed. This amino acid also showed promise in healing wounds in diabetic models.
- It can help your tummy – Glycine can help protect your stomach from ulcers by inhibiting acid secretion. Glycine also prevents chemical or stress induced ulcers from happening. It also makes your stomach more tolerable to stronger drugs like Aspirin in your Upper GI tract.
- Makes your brain healthier – In studies where they include rats with alcohol poisoning, it was seen to have reduced the accumulation of triglycerides, cholesterol and fatty acids in the brain. As a result, there was less swelling in the rat’s brains. Shortage of Glycerine will affect the synthesis of collagen and other metabolites that may cause irreversible negative effects in one’s brain. It’s also popular to help various mental illnesses and even depression.
If you want to know more about Glycine and how you should use it as a supplement, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Kawai N, Sakai N, et al. The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus,
Bannai M, Kawai N, Ono K, et al. The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers. Front Neurol. 2012;3:61. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2012.00061.