With the ongoing pandemic causing sleep and stress problems, there has been a growing interest in natural alternatives compared to over-the-counter medicines for sleep. Common sleep-related problems include difficulty falling asleep, difficulty waking up refreshed, and difficulty staying awake throughout the day.
PEA is an endogenous fatty acid amide naturally produced in the body that helps protect it during times of stress, pain and inflammation. It helps to regulate pain, mood (anxiety/stress) and sleep by influencing the endocannabinoid system via increasing levels of anandamide—an endocannabinoid sometimes called the ‘Bliss Molecule’.
However, sleep deprivation has been associated with a decrease in PEA levels, thus suggesting PEA’s role in sleep/wake cycle. In addition, the production of PEA gradually decreases with age and during times of stress and inflammation; therefore, exogenous supplementation is needed to offset this deficit.
A study, published in the Sleep Science and Practice journal, aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a branded form of PEA (Levagen®+) on sleep quality and quantity in healthy adults with sleep pattern disturbance.
The current double-blind, randomised study on 103 adults compared the efficacy and tolerability of 8 weeks of daily supplemented PEA formulation (350 mg Levagen®+) to a placebo. Sleep quality and quantity were measured using wrist actigraphy, a sleep diary and questionnaires.
The results showed that active PEA intervention had the following effects on subjects:
- Went to sleep early 3x times faster compared to placebo, improving sleep latency. This was 19 minutes faster, statistically significant compared to placebo.
- Had a good quality of sleep.
- Time to feel fully awake on awakening was 11 minutes faster, statistically significant compared to placebo.
- Improved cognition on awakening, statistically significant compared to placebo
Moreover, previous studies have shown how the unique cold-water dispersion technology LipiSperse (by Pharmako Biotechnologies) used in Levagen+ can increase the bioavailability and absorption of lipophilic ingredients like PEA. For example, a joint health study published in the International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences revealed that at a lower dose of 350 mg, PEA (Levagen+) is efficacious in decreasing joint pain levels in adults. This enhanced bioavailability of PEA allows for brand owners to formulate and implement PEA into various delivery formats, including effervescent tablets, capsules, shots, RTD mixes, powder, and gummies.
Rajwant Kaur Gill