The Hidden Power of Marine Collagen: Part Three – Sleep and Mood Enhancer

We’ve all felt the adverse effects of not getting enough sleep – brain fog, irritability, sluggish movements, and dull, constant ache behind the eyes. Research suggests that most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly.

To this end, a seemingly endless market of sleep aids has emerged. All promising to give you the best sleep of your life and improve your overall health. Like our previous two blog posts in this series, we’re here to make the case for collagen as a surprising (and natural!) sleep promoter.


How can collagen improve our sleep?

First, let’s talk about the obvious link between collagen and sleep: we know our skin makes new collagen as we sleep. Therefore, more sleep equals more collagen in the skin, which in turn equal less wrinkles and other signs of skin-ageing. In fact, according to Patricia Wexler, MD, sleeping for only five hours a night can result in twice as many fine lines as sleeping a solid eight hours. It can also leave your skin drier and more prone to sagging or wrinkling.

But what about the opposite? Does more collagen equal a better and more restful sleep?

Human studies have demonstrated that consuming three grams of glycine (found in one serving of collagen) before bed may significantly enhance the quality of your sleep. This occurs because glycine lowers your core body temperature and may also help suppress muscle activity during REM sleep. These actions help promote natural sleep-signals within the body, leading to deeper and more consistent sleep.

Additionally, glycine is also beneficial in combating the negative effects of sleep deprivation. A study which examined the effects of glycine on the daytime performance of sleep-restricted adult volunteers showed that the volunteers demonstrated improvements in concentration, memory recognition, alongside a general reduction in feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

In 2018, a study written by Naoki Ito, Shinobu Seki, and Fumitaka Ueda hypothesised that fish-derived collagen peptides and ornithine (a non-proteinogenic amino acid) may be helpful in increasing plasma growth hormone and/or growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels. The effects of growth hormone dictate a range of biological processes such as cell growth, proliferation, regeneration, and metabolism, and is most strongly secreted from the pituitary gland during the first few hours of sleep. Similar to growth hormone, IGF-1 promotes cellular growth in the body’s tissues, bones, and muscles, as well as maintaining the development of the epidermis and dermis skin layers. Therefore, we can naturally assume that increased levels of collagen peptides and ornithine (CPO) may lead to increased level of growth hormone and/or IGF-1 which, in turn, may lead to faster cell growth, skin and cell regeneration, and metabolism. It may also result in better sleep quality by making the first few hours of sleep deeper and more restful, as this is the optimal time at which the body releases both hormones.

While more research is still needed in order to corroborate these kinds of studies, the emerging findings are promising. If you’re searching for a more natural and gentler sleep-aid glycine is worth testing out – just one traditional serving of collagen holds the three grams needed to set you on your way to a deeper and more restful sleep.


How can collagen improve our mood?

This also leads us into the mood-based benefits of collagen. While better sleep can improve the lives of every individual, collagen may also have a more direct and meaningful effect on those who struggle with chronic mood disorders. A handful of scientific studies have assessed the utility of glycine (found in collagen) in the treatment of schizophrenia – more specifically the feelings of depression and loss of mental cognition which accompany the disorder. One of the studies suggest that high doses of glycine may be highly effective in “blocking apoptosis-like neuropathological processes in patients with chronic schizophrenia and thereby can deter progressive deterioration of the disorder”.

This also leads us to the mood-based benefits of collagen. While better sleep can improve the lives of every individual, collagen may also have a more direct and meaningful effect on those who struggle with chronic mood disorders. A handful of scientific studies have assessed the utility of glycine (found in collagen) in the treatment of schizophrenia – more specifically the feelings of depression and loss of mental cognition that accompany the disorder. One of the studies suggest that high doses of glycine may be highly effective in “blocking apoptosis-like neuropathological processes in patients with chronic schizophrenia and thereby can deter progressive deterioration of the disorder”.

Further research suggests that glycine is also neuroprotective and may be beneficial in the treatment of those effected by strokes or neurodegenerative diseases. As with the abovementioned sleep studies – it’s still early days. However, these favourable early trails coupled with glycine’s proven capability to improve our everyday concentration, memory recall and work performance demonstrates just how far-reaching the potential benefits of collagen can stretch.

This also leads us to the mood-based benefits of collagen. While better sleep can improve the lives of every individual, collagen may also have a more direct and meaningful effect on those who struggle with chronic mood disorders. A handful of scientific studies have assessed the utility of glycine (found in collagen) in the treatment of schizophrenia – more specifically the feelings of depression and loss of mental cognition that accompany the disorder. One of the studies suggest that high doses of glycine may be highly effective in “blocking apoptosis-like neuropathological processes in patients with chronic schizophrenia and thereby can deter progressive deterioration of the disorder”.



  1. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/beauty-sleep#1

  2. .Bannai, Makoto, and Nobuhiro Kawai. “New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep.” Journal of pharmacological sciences vol. 118,2 (2012): 145-8. doi:10.1254/jphs.11r04fm

3. Chase, Michael H. “Confirmation of the consensus that glycinergic postsynaptic inhibition is responsible for the atonia of REM sleep.” Sleep vol. 31,11 (2008): 1487-91. doi:10.1093/sleep/31.11.1487

4. Bannai, Makoto et al. “The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers.” Frontiers in neurology vol. 3 61. 18 Apr. 2012, doi:10.3389/fneur.2012.00061

5. Ito, Naoki et al. “Effects of Composite Supplement Containing Collagen Peptide and Ornithine on Skin Conditions 6. Physiology of growth hormone secretion during sleep. Van Cauter E, Plat L, J Pediatr. 1996 May; 12 8(5 Pt 2): S32-7.

6. Physiology of growth hormone secretion during sleep. Van Cauter E, Plat L, J Pediatr. 1996 May; 12 8(5 Pt 2): S32-7.

7. Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling regulates skin development and inhibits skin keratinocyte differentiation. Sadagurski M, Yakar S, Weingarten G, Holzenberger M, Rhodes CJ, Breitkreutz D, Leroith D, Wertheimer E. Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Apr; 26(7):2675-87.

8. Shim, Seong S et al. “Potentiation of the NMDA receptor in the treatment of schizophrenia: focused on the glycine site.” European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience vol. 258,1 (2008): 16-27. doi:10.1007/s00406-007-0757-8

9. Gusev, E I et al. “Neuroprotective effects of glycine for therapy of acute ischaemic stroke.” Cerebrovascular diseases (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 10,1 (2000): 49-60. doi:10.1159/000016025


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