Arginine before sleep: What you need to know

Arginine before sleep: What you need to know

Arginine before sleep: What you need to know

How and why to use arginine for insomnia requires knowing how arginine works in the body to restore a good night's sleep. Have you tried other methods and need a better solution for insomnia? This supplement can treat the cause of your affected sleep better than other remedies. Here's everything you need to know about 'arginine before you sleep.


Arginine before sleep: What you need to know 

Arginine affects sleep because it is a precursor to nitric oxide. When nitric oxide is released into the blood, it relaxes the blood vessels.

This helps to relax endothelial cells and neuronal firing. Induced sleep is a positive side effect.

Arginine also increases human growth hormone and reduces ammonia in the brain. 


Arginine before bedtime and growth hormone

Arginine and ornithine are amino acids that help the body eliminate ammonia from the intestine. Too much ammonia causes brain stress and anxiety.

In addition, these amino acids improve growth hormone levels.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced by the pituitary gland.

It is responsible for growth in children and adolescents. It also helps regulate body fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and heart function. It maintains the health of tissues and organs.

More importantly when it comes to sleep, it lowers cortisol. Generally, as we age, we tend to have a decrease in growth hormone and an increase in cortisol levels.

Human growth hormone is released during stage 3 sleep. This is the deep sleep stage which occurs about an hour after falling asleep.

No wonder so many people wake up refreshed after taking arginine.

Some sources say it helps with insomnia due to its effect on the heart. If the heart is working properly, we can breathe deeply and sleep better.

Some people combine arginine and ornithine before bed to release HGH while they sleep.


Dosage of arginine before bedtime

Not everyone should take arginine before bed. For some, it is initially stimulating, before bringing a feeling of rest and calm.

That's why many bodybuilders use it before a workout.

It may also be helpful to take arginine in the afternoon. This provides a good dose of energy for this stage of the day, while allowing the body to relax and unwind at night.

Some people successfully take arginine before bed for insomnia, or about 30 minutes before bedtime.


How to Take L'arginine for Insomnia: Dosage

The suggested dosage of L-arginine is between 2 and 8, and even up to 18, grams per day. 

Start with less and ask your doctor to help you find the right dose for your body.

Negative side effects of too high a dose may include nausea, diarrhea, or recurrence of gout symptoms.



How and why to use L-arginine for insomnia versus ammonia?

Ammonia is a cellular toxin created from building proteins. If there is too much ammonia in the body, the ammonia can reach the brain. There, it interferes with important functions that affect sleep.

Taking supplements like arginine, ornithine (more on that below), and glutathione (especially this one) can promote sleep. These amino acids detoxify ammonia as part of the urea cycle.

(Ammonia is derived from digested proteins. The liver converts ammonia to urea, which is nontoxic and excreted by the kidneys. Liver dysfunctions can lead to an inability to convert ammonia, which then builds up in the blood. A very high protein intake can also cause too much ammonia in the body.)


Glutathione, L-arginine and GABA

GABA is one of our central nervous system inhibitors that helps us relax and sleep.

GABA improves sleep and increases the release of human growth hormone. But the effect of direct supplementation is often disappointing. This is mainly because it is difficult for GABA to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Studies show that glutathione directly stimulates the release of GABA and that L-arginine increases the uptake of GABA by the brain.

Personally, I take both amino acids for this reason (and other gut wellness benefits).


Who should take arginine and who should take ornithine or citrulline?

Instead of taking a higher dose of L-arginine, one strategy when taking arginine is to also take L-ornithine or L-citrulline. Some people only take ornithine or citrulline.

L-citrulline is converted into L-arginine. Therefore, L-citrulline is sometimes supplemented to increase L-arginine levels.

Ornithine is more commonly used for bodybuilding, due to its potential to enhance athletic performance. But it is also gaining popularity as a sleep aid. Ornithine appears to improve sleep quality by reducing stress and anxiety.

Taking L-arginine with L-ornithine can make a smaller dose of arginine more available to blood vessels. The kidneys convert arginine into ornithine.

However, if ornithine is supplied from a supplement, the kidneys are more likely not to convert arginine to ornithine. This leaves more arginine in circulation.

The result for some is improved sleep (even more than with arginine alone).

Liver function support, accelerated wound healing and detoxification may be additional benefits.



Some organisms seem to use L-arginine in the urea process. Taking ornithine or citrulline in addition or instead may be more effective for these people (not everyone).

Taking L-citrulline increases plasma levels of ornithine and arginine. This improves the ammonia recycling process and nitric oxide metabolism.

Ask your doctor or start with L-arginine. Try adding ornithine or citrulline if needed.

The dosage of L-citrulline generally ranges from 6 to 18 grams per day.

The most common dosage for L-ornithine is 500 mg. When stacked with L-arginine, the dosage is usually 250mg.


Why Use L-Arginine for Insomnia?

  • produces nitric oxide, which is essential in several physiological processes, including neurotransmission, vasorelaxation, and immunity.
  • is an essential component of the urea cycle, the pathway in mammals that removes toxic ammonia from the body.
  • is necessary for the synthesis of creatine, a source of energy necessary for muscle contraction.
  • has a protective role against NSAIDs, ulcers and has been repeatedly shown to protect the gastric mucosa from damage. La. has also been shown to speed the healing of ulcers and gastric surfaces from various causes.
  • is credited with healing wounds and reducing inflammation. It is often used after surgery to aid recovery.
  • is believed to play an important role in protecting against age-related degenerative diseases and benefiting brain function.
  • promotes hair growth. Nitrogen oxide generated from arginine opens potassium channels in cells. The blood supply to the hair root then improves, which in turn stimulates hair growth.
  • stimulates the release of insulin and is sometimes used to treat diabetes.
  • can help increase muscle growth, burn fat and support metabolism.
  • with L-lysine has been documented to normalize hormonal stress for those who suffer from anxiety.
  • may be effective for angina and prevent someone from taking statins.
  • increases the sexual performance of some men.
  • reduces facial aging spots and may also help with other skin conditions.
  • relieves headaches.
  • The rginine requirements in humans

Arginine requirements in humans vary with age, dietary arginine intake, protein turnover, arginine synthesis and metabolism.

Normal dietary intake of L-arginine meets only the body's minimum requirements for tissue repair, protein synthesis, and maintenance of immune cells.


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