How Your Gut Health Can Impact Your Sleep
Did you know that your gut and digestive health can actually impact how well you sleep? You know that there is an array of issues that may result in you being unable to go to sleep. Issues like anxiety, depression, stress, and more can all impact your ability to snooze. Now, add another to the list – gut health. However, there are some tips you can use to get to know the impact of your gut health on sleep and steps you can take to change the outcome.
What Is Your Gut, How Does it Work?
You may think your gut is there to simply turn the food you consume into energy and waste. However, it is actually a smart organ and is in constant communication with your bran.
In fact, some experts claim the gut (or gastrointestinal tract) is your second brain. This is not too surprising when you consider all the parts of your body it affects. Your gut is also home to your enteric nervous system, which is in contact with your central nervous system and brain, and in charge of regulating essential processes.
Your gut put simply, is a long tube that goes from your mouth to your anus. It is home to millions of bacteria, along with viruses and fungi. Most of these are found in the colon and called the microbiome or microbiota. When your microbiota is healthy, it is full o good and bad bacteria. Something that may help you achieve this healthy microbiota is an advanced restorative probiotic.
It is estimated that about 33% of your gut is the same as everyone else’s – the other 66% are unique to each person. This uniqueness is derived from your diet, environment, personal background, and environment. There are over 1,000 different microbiota bacteria in an adult’s digestive tract. What is interesting, though, is that your gut’s composition will evolve and change as you get older.
Your environment, where you live, and your diet have a strong influence on the composition of your unique gut microbiome. Processed and sugary foods, minimal fiber, hydration, exercise, emotional or physical stress, and antibiotics can all create a negative situation for the microbiota. If you want to live a normal, well-balanced, and healthy life, you need correctly balanced gut microbiota.
Sleep Issues and Your Gut
If you do not get good quality sleep, this will influence the essential work of satiety and hunger hormones, which regulate your total food intake.
Your digestive health, which refers to the well-being of your gut bacteria, is a factor that can have a direct impact on your sleep. It is also well known that a lack of sleep, your appetite, and obesity are all tightly connected; however, just recently have scientists discovered a connection between your microbiome and sleep.
According to a study from 2016, a shift between daytime and nighttime does not just impact your circadian rhythm. It impacts the rhythm of your gut microbes, too, whose activities are dependent on your day and night activities and schedule. Due to this, they may also impact some of the other organ’s circadian rhythm.
It is already understood there is a connection between appetite and sleep, which is important because sleep deprivation can cause issues with your appetite, increase cravings, and cause you to gain weight. The main reason this happens is that the less sleep you get, the less leptin you produce, which is responsible for feelings of satiety.
It will also increase the presence of ghrelin, which is another hormone that regulates hunger. If you lack sleep, leptin will not signal or control when you feel full, but ghrelin is telling your body you need to eat even more. This helps to explain the reason that people who are sleep deprived gain weight faster and are at a higher risk of obesity.
Over time, sleep deprivation can impact certain parts of your brain that oversee impulse control, too. This is why many people who suffer from inadequate sleep claim they are not able to control themselves when it comes to overeating. All this has consequences for your gut’s well-being.
Is It Possible to Improve Gut Health?
When you take steps to improve your gut microbiome and digestion, you may help solve sleep-related issues. Scientists do not fully understand the way this relationship works; however, they are still researching to figure this out. They assume that the microbiome in your gut affects sleep by impacting your sleep-wake cycle, your hormones that regulate sleep and wakefulness, and circadian rhythm. There are steps you can take now, even while scientists are investigating this question.
You can take better care of your gut health with probiotics and prebiotics, which will feed the good bacteria and help to ensure the well being of your gut. This is something that has been proven and adequately researched.
The benefits of probiotics are not a myth. Some scientists believe probiotics may be helpful for sleep, too. This makes it worth trying if you are dealing with issues related to getting enough sleep.
A Healthier Gut and Depression
Another interesting discovery is that if your gut is healthy, it may reduce or resolve your mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and mood swings. If you are dealing with these mood issues, along with sleep problems, you likely have an imbalanced gut microbiome. This indicates that the gut controls much more than most people think it does.
There is also a well-known relationship between depression and sleep. If you do not get enough sleep, you will be more likely to experience depressive behaviors and thoughts and mood swings. The relationship is one that goes both ways – insomnia may cause depression, and depression may cause insomnia.
Some research has shown that when you take probiotics, it can benefit your mental well-being and help to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, along with other issues. However, it can also help to improve your overall resilience to stressful situations, which may also impact your sleep quality.
Managing Gut Health for Better Sleep
As you can see from the information above, gut health impacts many parts of your body. If your gut health is not good, it can result in you being unable to get quality sleep. If you are unsure if your gut health is the problem, speak to your doctor. They can run tests and help determine the specific issue. Being informed and knowing what to consider will help you improve your gut health and, as a result, your overall health and well-being, regardless of your age or other issues that you may be dealing with.