• Taking NMN for 12 weeks enhances sleep quality scores evaluated with a sleep test called the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).
  • The PSQI revealed that subjects who took NMN took less time to fall asleep than those who didn’t take it.
  • A sleep analysis performed with an electronic wristband indicated that those who took NMN spent more time at night in the dreaming state and in deep sleep.

Research shows that sleep quality dissipates with age. Aside from the dreaming state (rapid eye movement [REM]), other sleep stages occur that range from light to deep sleep. The time spent in REM and deep sleep states declines as we grow older, and the deepest sleep state even disappears after age 60. Since sleep is important for immunity, cognition, and metabolism, the age-related decline in sleep quality may contribute to a multitude of diseases associated with aging. Although sleep-aiding medications exist for this problem, they often drive unwanted side effects like prolonged drowsiness, making the search for new sleep remedies paramount.

Published in the American Journal of Translational Medicine, Zhang and colleagues from the Southern University of Science and Technology in China demonstrate that taking NMN improves sleep as measured by a sleep questionnaire called the PSQI. The research team also found that administering NMN significantly reduced the time it took to fall asleep. By analyzing smart band data worn on the wrist (the Huawei Band 6), the researchers found that NMN increases the amount of REM and deep sleep obtained. The study’s findings point to taking NMN to counter declining sleep quality as we grow older.

NMN Increases Deep Sleep and REM Sleep in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

Zhang and colleagues evaluated the sleep of individuals between the ages of 45 and 75 to find whether NMN improves sleep quality. Twenty-nine of these middle-aged and older adults took NMN and twenty-nine did not. After 12 weeks, they completed  a questionnaire (the PSQI) regarding multiple facets of sleeping, such as waking and restlessness at night. Interestingly, the middle-aged and older adults who took NMN scored significantly better on the evaluation compared to those who did not take NMN. Aside from the PSQI score, the time it took to get to sleep (sleep latency) also improved for the NMN group. These findings provide intriguing evidence that NMN improves sleep in middle-aged and older adults.

(Zhao et al., 2022 | American Journal of Translational Medicine) NMN improves sleep quality. Participants who took NMN had significantly lower total Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores compared to those who didn’t take NMN, indicative of attaining better sleep. They also displayed improvements for scores related to the time it takes to fall asleep (sleep latency). Triangle= significantly lower score compared to the other group who didn’t take NMN.

To confirm the data from the PSQI, the China-based researchers turned to a sleep quality analysis from an electronic wristband (Huawei Band 6). During the NMN supplementation period, the group that took NMN displayed significantly increased nighttime deep sleep and REM sleep. These findings add support and credulity to the PSQI data, which indicated that NMN improves sleep in middle-aged and older adults.

(Zhao et al., 2022 | American Journal of Translational Medicine) NMN promotes deep sleep. Participants who took NMN (red) exhibit a higher ratio of deep sleep (Figure C) to total sleep compared to the group that didn’t take NMN (black). 

“We found that after taking NMN, the sleep duration, deep sleep ratio, and REM sleep ratios increased, and the light sleep ratio and waking frequency decreased significantly,” said Zhang and colleagues.

Increasing NAD+ May Restore the Sleep-Wake Cycle (Circadian Rhythm)

Essential, pro-longevity enzymes called sirtuins rely on the molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), with key roles in thousands of biological reactions in the body. Previous studies have found that sirtuins play crucial roles in regulating the sleep-wake rhythm (circadian rhythm). Since sirtuins depend on NAD+ to function, faltering NAD+ levels with age can negatively impact people’s circadian rhythms, leading to sleep disturbances. This could at least partially explain why increasing NAD+ with NMN in aged individuals improves their sleep patterns.

Future studies should examine whether these NMN-associated sleep improvements persist over longer durations and whether they continuously improve over time. Also, facilitating better sleep in older adults may be only one of the many ways NMN alleviates age-related ailments. Unraveling the ways that NMN confers its benefits will likely require years of clinical trials, examining NMN’s neurological, cardiovascular, and metabolic benefits.