By: Melissa Mitri, MS, RD
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It is a major component of our connective tissue and functions to strengthen hair, nails, and skin as well as to protect our organs.
Another potential benefit of collagen is improved sleep. Research shows at least 30% of the population suffers from insomnia. This number is likely even higher during pregnancy, when many other factors make it challenging to sleep well.
Because of this, collagen is especially beneficial during pregnancy. This is a time when proper nutrition and sleep is even more essential.
If you are pregnant, chances are you want to do everything in your power to have a smoother pregnancy and the healthiest baby possible.
Unfortunately, poor sleep can make it more challenging to have the energy to eat nutritious food and stay active.
But, there is good news.
In a 2013 study, those taking 3 grams of the amino acid (protein-building block) glycine daily experienced improved sleep quality and less daytime fatigue. Glycine is a protein that is present in collagen and collagen supplements.
Pregnancy is a time where protein needs are increased and it may be more difficult to get enough of the important amino acids, like glycine, that your body needs through food alone.
Collagen is a unique protein that provides multiple benefits, can help fill any gaps in protein intake during pregnancy, and might help you get the essential sleep you need.
Importance of Sleep during Pregnancy
The benefits of good quality sleep are endless. This is especially critical while you are pregnant, a time when proper rest enables you to prepare for your little one entering the world. If you are exhausted all the time, it can be difficult to be mentally and physically prepared.
While a certain level of fatigue may be normal during this time, it can be managed to help you keep up with your day-to-day activities, work, doctor’s appointments, and make nourishing meals that will fuel your body and your baby.
Many women lack proper sleep during pregnancy, especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. This is due to several reasons –
- Frequent trips to the bathroom
- Pregnancy side effects such heartburn, constipation or morning sickness
- Aches and pains
- Leg cramps and restless leg syndrome
- Vivid or disturbing dreams
- Night sweats
- Difficulty getting comfortable with your growing belly
- Kicking, flipping and rolling from your active baby on board
- Pre-birth anxiety and worries
Regardless of the reason, you can improve your sleep quality so that you feel less fatigued, have more energy to stay active and focus, and can prepare for your baby’s arrival.
Taking a daily collagen supplement that is naturally rich in glycine is one way to support a more restful sleep.
Collagen and Sleep Benefits
If you are having trouble falling and staying asleep, this can significantly impact your day and your level of patience. Sometimes, it’s easy to become accustomed to poor sleep and we don’t realize how much it is impacting our lives.
Here are some of the signs that sleep deprivation could be affecting your daily life:
- You lack focus or attention in your everyday tasks
- You feel very irritable or emotional
- You are forgetful
- You are having more conflicts with your partner or family members
- You feel “on edge”
- You have less motivation or energy to exercise (which is hugely beneficial during pregnancy!)
Collagen can help improve sleep quality, decrease the time required to fall asleep, and reduce daytime fatigue. Taking a daily collagen supplement, such as our Protiva Thrive collagen peptides, can help support a healthier and more restful sleep.
Based on the available research, the biggest way collagen may improve your sleep is due to the glycine present. Glycine is an amino acid that can improve sleep quality by lowering your core body temperature. This can help you feel more comfortable in your bed and relaxed.
While collagen is found in some whole foods, it is difficult to determine how much glycine is present to produce the desired benefits.
Is Collagen Safe During Pregnancy?
Collagen supplements are generally safe and easy to add to your daily routine. This is the case for the general population and also during pregnancy.
A 2016 clinical study demonstrated that a daily dose of Protiva collagen is safe during pregnancy. Both Protiva Pregnancy and Protiva New Mom supplements were found to be safe and well tolerated throughout.
In this particular study, participants were taking these collagen supplements twice daily for a total of 30 grams per day. This is actually a higher dose than the daily serving size of 15 grams for most collagen supplements. This can provide peace of mind regarding its safety profile and serving size.
There are also no serious adverse effects reported in any of the study participants who were taking collagen.
How and When to take Collagen during Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and are suffering from poor sleep, now would be the optimal time to start thinking about taking a collagen supplement.
It is ideal to take a daily collagen supplement before you enter the 2nd or 3rd trimester, as this is when the risk for sleep issues increases. Being proactive in this way will set you up for the most success.
The recommended daily dose of our Protiva Unflavored Collagen Peptides is 15 grams of hydrolyzed collagen before bedtime, mixed with your favorite beverage. You should mix it with at least 8-12 ounces of water, coffee, a smoothie or protein shake.
Taking your collagen supplement in the evening versus the daytime may yield better results for sleep.
If you want to improve your sleep quality during pregnancy, taking a daily collagen peptide supplement before bedtime mixed with your favorite beverage can help.
However, choosing a collagen product that has proven to be safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is essential.
Protiva is the only collagen brand that has specifically studied their formula for safety and effectiveness during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Not all collagen products are the same or deemed safe during these critical times.
Always consult with your medical provider prior to starting a new supplement to determine what’s best for you.