Can Marine Collagen truly be associated with an enhanced sleep?
First and for most why is sleep so vital to our health? Well, how long have we got to talk?
Did you know we spend approximately a third of lives sleeping – a waste of time you may say, or only that much. Well, no matter how much sleep you manage every day, its pivotal in our overall health, both physically and emotionally and the likelihood is that we could all do with a little more sometimes, or maybe all the time!
Sleep is the ultimate healer and repairing mechanism for the body and skin. It is also an essential function of the body. That is why we should not disrespect the amount of it we need daily. The average adult is said to need between 7-9 hours of both deep and light sleep every 24 hours. Having slept well enables us to function, have a clearer perspective, make rational decisions, it aids in the boosting of our bodies natural immune system. During sleep our body heals, repairing blood vessels, skin, and tissue. Sleep also helps to recharge the brain and brings our memory into focus. Balancing both our mood and metabolism whilst allowing our muscles to relax.
There is a definitive reason why when we experience a lack of sleep, we morph into another person altogether, not to mention the bleary appearance, irritable mood, lack of focus, brain fog and those pesky under eye dark circles...
When we sleep not only our bodies but the largest living organ of the body: our skin peaks for optimum rejuvenation too, we repair daytime damage, absorb active ingredients, and potentially produce more collagen too. It is our essential re-charge time. It is the same for your brain or your muscles, yet we do not tend to focus on the benefits of sleep on our skin.
When we sleep a process called mitosis occurs or cell division which repairs skin, specifically in the epidermis, where the constant rejuvenation of skin cells and red blood cells which only have a limited life span is a necessity. This night-time process is important for skin rejuvenation so fresh, healthy skin cells are constantly replenished and keep us looking youthful.
The associated results of poor sleep to skin are that we age faster – who wants to look older than their true skin years, simply from skipping a few hours of precious sleep?
Our skin does not recover from the daily aggressors we expose our skin to such as environmental damage and pollution. The colour of your skin can look grey or lack lustre, and the lack of radiance in the skin is visible. We know that during sleep our blood circulation or the microcirculation in the skin increases, flowing fresh nutrients and oxygen to the skin, we also know that collagen production in the skin is at its peak during the night as well as the process of mitosis taking place. So, if we do not get enough sleep this entire renewal process is slowed.
Temperature plays a huge role in how our skin behaves at night to. If the room is too warm, we perspire more, too cold and the blood vessels near the surface of the skin constrict allowing less blood to the skins surface, so we lose less heat. Having both our body temperature and room temperature at a constant, not too hot nor too cold allows our skin time to heal and regenerate without having to multi-task whilst all the repairing and reproducing activity in the skin is taking place.
For optimum skin rejuvenation, we need to repair daytime damage and absorb as many active ingredients as possible, whilst giving our bodies the opportunity to make more collagen. So, the 360-degree approach of orally ingesting collagen as well as topically applying marine collagen to the skin can make all the difference.
So how does collagen help you sleep? Predominantly by what it has made up of.
Natural collagen makes up approximately a third of the protein in your body. There are numerous types of collagen, yet the dominant types one, two and three account for almost 90% of the collagen in your body.
Types one and three collagens are both structural collagens. Think of natural collagen in the skin as a supportive mesh, these woven fibres interlink in the dermis and are the main supportive network for skins visible flexibility, bounce and youthfulness. It is such an essential structural element of the skin and without constant replenishment, the effects of the lack of collagen on the skin are detrimental to its appearance.
Visualise a baby’s skin, that full flexibility, structure and density, super smooth surface, lack of environmental damage and exposure to hormones, poor food, and lifestyle choices. Plus, the constant napping, truly magical deep sleep at the drop of a hat. Nobody says you cannot, in fact they actively encourage it. Your body is growing, so the volume of snooze time is essential for you to grow and prosper.
Fast forward twenty years and that natural reproduction of collagen starts to slow, you are loving your vacations and summer sun, your favourite weekend treat is a trip to a fast-food restaurant and clubbing until the small hours. You drive your parents insane by what appears to be the volume of sleep you appear to be able to cram into 24 hours, albeit you appear to sleep all day and party all night, but if it is less than 12 hours at a time, you feel hard done to!
Plus, another twenty years, your collagen levels have been on the decline now for twenty years…
Your hormone levels have changed, lifestyle stress is a daily battle, work commitments are stressful and how different does your jawline appear, is it still taught and smooth or is there a hint of an appearance of jowls? Have the laughter lines crept in and those wrinkles started to appear more dominant or it that just the mirror you are looking in to?... Your sleep pattern has changed, you wake up to visit the bathroom during the night (what is that all about?) You always seem to be clock watching and small luxuries like a lie in feels like a thing of the past, or when you have opportunity to do so, your body naturally wakes up anyway...
Now you have reached your sixties. Retirement is looming, you are about to leave the rat race and within yourself you do not really feel any older than you did twenty years prior. There is maybe just a few extra aches and joint pains, however you look in the mirror and the reflection tell you a totally different story to the age you really feel.
You have been depleting collagen year on year for nearly forty years, your skin structure has changed, your sleep pattern has changed.
Somebody please, please, pass me the collagen!
Collagen is almost a third made up of glycine, and it is this amino acid which is thought to be able to help us sleep as it helps to relax your nervous system. Other health benefits of glycine are thought to assist in the stability of blood sugar, ease joint pain and inflammation and to maintain a healthy gut. It is the nightly bedside assistant to soothe and calm which results in improved sleep and overall health.
So, what works best? Topical or oral?
In a world where we want it all, combination is key. For our skin health we want the topical booster treatment with those small amino acids to increase hydration, assist in the formation of the building blocks of the skin and to combat oxidative stress.
Some are sceptical about the benefits of topical applications of collagen simply because a collagen molecule is too large to pass into the skin, however when broken down into amino acids they transverse more easily, resulting in a beneficial skin plumping and cushioning exercise, not to mention the hydration benefit to skin which by itself aides the appearance of a smooth, plump appearance to the skin bringing visible fine lines and wrinkles into a softer focus.
Orally we want the benefits to include additional joint protection, a decrease in gut inflammation and booster to overall health, we want to replenish that structural scaffold to the largest organ of the body at the same time. Combine the two whether it be a supplement, shot or drink and the result is we also benefit from an enhanced sleep, reduced anxiety, plus a sense of calmness – thank you glycine.
Most of us will know Marine Collagen as an ingredient essential in skincare products for its smoothing and skin plumping benefits as well as a much-needed hydrator to keep our skin looking fresh and rosy. In the cosmetics world it is the true anti-ageing ingredient, the powerhouse ingredient that by itself is too large to pass directly into the skin. Yet broken down into amino acids and combined with other active ingredients, produces luxurious textures that deliver real results.
SO much so, that leading British brands such as ELEMIS® have been formulating and retailing a collagen marine cream successfully and globally for the past 25 years.
That is a lot of collagen being topically applied if it has no affect and anti-ageing skin benefits…
The burning question - does it work when applied topically?
Seemingly so, specifically in a western diet that generally lacks in collagen rich amino acids usually found in small bones and in animal skin. (Unless of course you are a true Mediterranean diet follower with plenty of oily fish – think sardines, anchovies, collagen rich sourced food) or unless you are crunching your way through excessive amount of white bait every day!
Chances are there’s not enough collagen rich amino acids going into your system or to your skin to replenish and strengthen the constant depletion of collagen we experience from on twenties onwards. You may at this point be asking yourself why is that so vital? If my collagen levels naturally deplete do, I really need to help sustain them?
Once again, the answer is a resounding yes.
If you are concerned with ageing, your overall health and general life longevity (which we now recognise relates to our sleep pattern and quality of sleep also) then keeping your collagen levels topped up should be a daily essential to both our skin care and supplement intake.
SO that is all well and good, we have taken our collagen supplements, gels, or shots.
We have applied the collagen marine cream to bring back the bounce tomorrow morning when we wake, so we are fresh, rosy, hydrated and looking like we have got a youthful glow again. We have topped up on our sleep to benefit all the repairing and rejuvenating associated benefits with extra sleep, but have we factored into account the position in which we sleep, and does it even make a difference?...
Well, it does, without a doubt. Dependant on if you are a star fish snoozer or a foetal curler. A wriggler or a hibernator. It does make a difference if you always lie on the same side or if you toss and turn all night. It is not only the health benefits of how you sleep to consider, but the skin aggravation which you can also cause too. The overall look of your skin. Lack of sleep or poor sleep (more light sleep than deep) can result in a darker under eye area, a less vibrant complexion and skin puffiness.
The issue arises and then reverts once again – COLLAGEN.
When we are young, there is an abundant supply of collagen and elastin fibres in the skin, giving it that youthful bounce, so it springs back into shape rapidly. However, as we age, those levels deplete, thus requiring a helping hand from skin plumping and super hydrating ingredients such as marine collagen amino acids, to replenish and nourish the skin.
When we repeat a behaviour such as sleeping on the same side of our face every day, we place an additional stress on the existing skin fibres, this can result in one side of the face appearing “flatter” or as if it lost it bounce in extreme cases. So, consideration to the position we sleep in is important and it totally has an impact on your skin and your health.
Did you know that being a foetal curler is said to mean you are less likely to suffer with back problems? Interesting to say the least, plus if you are also a left sided curler then the theory is this may also benefit the way our body expels waste (organ placement is asymmetrical internally) so by lying on your left side throughout the night allows gravity to make waste travel its natural route, ready to be expelled the following morning.
Left side sleeping is also said to aid digestion, reduce heartburn (due again to internal organs location) if the stomach and gastric juices remain lower than the oesophagus when we sleep, we reduce the risk of heartburn. Boost brain health and reduce the chances of snoring.
On the note of snoring, are you a snorer or a mouth breather?
Either way it is affecting your tongue, mouth, airways, and nose. We still relax during sleep, but open-mouthed breathing for long periods of time can also influence the lips. That constant inhalation and expiration of air can dry the lip area out, so ensure you apply a lip salve prior to going to bed, to ensure you do not over dehydrate that delicate lip tissue. An extra boost of (you guessed it!) marine collagen across the lips will keep them hydrated, preventing that total moisture loss, so when you wake up there are no paper dry lips in sight.
If you are feeling generous, make sure you give your partner a pair of ear buds too!
So, to the starfish snoozers, you need to flip over onto your side.
The Hibernators, you need to come up for some air and take the heat away from your skin to allow it to “breathe” and not have to be working overtime.
The wrigglers… It is time to take your collagen and get that brain to rest prior to going to bed.
Which means the mobile needs to be put away at least an hour before bedtime, the TV needs to vacate the bedroom and YOU need to breathe….
One last tip to take into consideration prior to sleeping, although it does not have a physical impact on the way you sleep and it is not necessarily linked to collagen, however the result of not removing it can have a negative impact on our skin’s health and therefore will need an additional boost from marine collagen. Plus, if you over think it, then most definitely you will not be going straight to sleep as you will be dreaming about bugs...
Bacteria breed on our skin throughout the day, when we are out and about, we touch surfaces, or even if we are just at home, think how many times you touch different surfaces and then go to wipe away a wisp of hair, or touch your face. Placing bacteria onto the skin.
So even if you have not had an ounce of make-up throughout the day, it is imperative that we cleanse and rehydrate the skin prior to going to bed – topical collagen marine cream I hear you shout – absolutely!
(You can test this by simply taking a cotton pad with some toning lotion on and wiping it over your skin on the days when you think you do not need to cleanse, and see what transfers onto the pad, believe me, you will start to cleanse nightly!).
So, can collagen really be associated with an enhanced sleep?
Do I want to wake up feeling refreshed, glowing, and ready to face the day with rosy skin?
I do indeed.
We know that the amount of sleep we get plays a vital role in the appearance of our skin. We know sleep aids both our mental and physical health, the repairing process is both a natural function and necessity for health and overall well-being. We all know that feeling of having stayed up “past our bedtime” and the result the next day besides the constant yawning is the appearance of lack-lustre or grey tinged skin, lack of a rosy glow and enhanced under eye dark circles. Grouchiness, irritability, lack of focus and that feeling of just wishing the day were over, so we can go and catch up on our sleep.
Will I be taking my collagen supplements as well as applying my collagen marine cream packed with collagen amino acids – without a doubt. We tackle so many other obstacles in life with a head on approach. I think its high time we embrace collagen to help us on the journey for an enhanced sleep experience and its many magnificent bonuses.
I am off to bed – collagen drunk and slathered in marine collagen cream.