Could sleep boosting ingredients be the key to a stronger immune system?

By:  Talking Nutrition Editors

  • Sleep is a top concern, especially for Millennials and Gen X consumers, and a poor night’s shut eye has been shown to increase inflammation and affect immune response.
  • In a recent event, DSM’s own Maike Rahn explores how different nutrients could aid the restorative role of sleep.
  • Read on to discover more about the emerging science-backed ingredients that can help boost sleep quality and, in turn, immune support – along with ways to engage consumers in the power of rest.

For more on how supporting sleep is a key factor in optimizing the immune system, watch Maike Rahn’s talk ‘While you were sleeping’ on demand here.

In the wake of a global health crisis, consumers have been turning to dietary supplements more than ever before, to support overall wellbeing and strengthen immunity. Sleep, in particular, is a trending concern – with a 40% increase in the use of supplements to improve sleep among US consumers.1

But what’s the connection between sleep and immunity?

Research suggests that parts of the immune system work hardest at night as it resets. Even a 30-minute nap can do wonders and help to bring down immune cell concentrations to rested levels. If we don’t sleep, or sleep poorly, our immune system can’t meet the challenges of the next day. This can lead to increased inflammation and affect overall immune response. Disrupted sleep can also negatively impact a wide range of things, from cognition, to mental and physical health, productivity and safety. So, how do we combat this? What are the nutritional tools at our disposal? Maike Rahn, Scientific Lead at DSM, tells us more…

How can micronutrients support better sleep and in turn boost immunity?

The supplement market is booming, with 91% of US consumers increasing their intake as a means of supporting immunity and wellbeing in the last year. A huge 98% of this group plan to continue this routine in a more permanent way.2 With sleep playing such a vital role in improved immune function, there is an opportunity to reach these consumers with the right sleep aiding nutrients.

For example, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to play a role in the down regulation of the immune system, help to resolve inflammation and boost sleep quality. In fact, a study has shown that at a daily dosage of 600 mg for both adults and children, omega-3s can result in longer sleep and fewer waking episodes, thus allowing the immune system to reset. Plus, with algal omega-3s showing the same benefits as their fish counterparts, there exists opportunities to offer a fully plant-based solution.

Other trending ingredients include ashwagandha, a traditional, plant-based ayurvedic remedy shown to decrease anxiety and the stress hormone cortisol for a better night of restorative sleep. Similarly L-theanine, a derivative of green tea helps modulate brain activity, lowers stress and supports relaxation.

There are many sleep boosting opportunities to explore and, as your end-to-end solutions provider, DSM can support with the right ingredients, customized solutions and expert services to create products with purpose.

Get in touch with one of our expert team today.

Published on

26 May 2021


  • Optimize your immunity
  • Vitamins
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Article
  • R&D
  • Marketing
  • Senior Management


4 min read


  1. FDM + ECOMM Latest 52 Weeks W/E 02/20/21
  2. Council for Responsible Nutrition/Ipsos survey 2020

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