Insomniacs and sufferers of chronic daytime sleepiness generally lack few concrete solutions to improve the quality of their sleep. The most effective treatments, namely prescription sleep aids, often come with dangerous side effects or can lead to dependence. Medical researchers have turned to Glycine as a replacement to sleep aids and their problematic side effects. Glycine is a non-essential amino acid created within the body that aids in the creation of muscle tissue and
is used to convert glucose (sugar) into energy. Glycine’s blood sugar regulation and its essential role in maintaining a healthy nervous system are important functions that can affect the quality of sleep. In a study that looked at the effects of glycine on sleep, researchers evaluated participants’ sleep quality using an overnight sleep study, sleep questionnaires, and a cognitive function assessment. The study, which compared participants receiving glycine vs. participants receiving placebo, showed a significant improvement in sleep quality, a reduction the time it took to fall asleep, improved sleep efficiency and improved cognitive functions for those taking the glycine supplement. The results suggest that 3 g of glycine before bedtime can help sleep onset, improve sleep quality and reduce sleepiness the following day. Because glycine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the body side effects appear to be minimal or non-existent on a short-term basis. Consult your physician to find out if glycine supplements are right for you.