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Gut and Sleep- what's the connection?


gut and sleep newsletter (2)
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Gut health has is a topic that gained a lot of attention in recent years. It refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract, which can have a significant impact on overall health. So, what does it have to do with sleep? The gut and sleep are two interconnected systems that work together to maintain overall health. The gut plays a critical role in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that helps control sleep and wake cycles. The gut microbiome produces a variety of hormones that can influence sleep, including serotonin, which is also a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep. here is a growing body of research exploring the connection between gut health and sleep. A study published in Journal of Clinical Sleep medicine 2016 found that diet rich in saturated fats, sugar and low fibre is associated with lighter, less restorative sleep with more waking.

More recently, research published in 2019 suggests that improving gut microbe diversity could promote better sleep. 6 tips to improve gut diversity:

  • Eat lots of fibre, focus on whole grains: whole wheat pasta, brown rice, brown bread/ sourdough, quinoa.

  • Try foods rich in probiotic cultures: natural yogurt, kefir, kombucha, green peas, apples

  • Eat a rainbow: add as many colours as possible in your daily

  • Avoid deep fried, heavily processed foods, cut down on sugar

  • Exercise regularly, even one daily walk outdoors can promote the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut.

  • Have a good sleep routine with regular bed and waking times, aim for similar times each night and morning

References;

  • St-Onge, M. P., Roberts, A., Shechter, A., & Choudhury, A. R. (2016). Fiber and Saturated Fat Are Associated with Sleep Arousals and Slow Wave Sleep. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 12(1), 19–24. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.5384

  • Smith, R. P., Easson, C., Lyle, S. M., Kapoor, R., Donnelly, C. P., Davidson, E. J., Parikh, E., Lopez, J. V., & Tartar, J. L. (2019). Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans. PloS one, 14(10), e0222394. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0222394

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