The Gut Sleep Connection
Bacterial Dysbiosis and sleep
We all understand the health benefits of a refreshing night’s sleep. However, some 35 percent of adults struggle with insomnia, experiencing difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up all too early.
Increasingly, sleep specialists are wondering if gut health may just be the path to enjoying a good night’s sleep?
Perhaps it's a case of nurturing your friendly gut flora to open the way to the good night’s sleep you so desperately need.
Is Bacterial Dysbiosis Robbing You Of Your Sleep?
Bacterial dysbiosis is commonly reported as a condition affecting the gastrointestinal tract.
There are two forms, the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and the small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO).
Typical symptoms of bacterial dysbiosis include:
Bloating, abdominal pain and cramping
Constipation, diarrhoea, or alternating
Indigestion, reflux, heartburn
Fatigue, brain fog, lowered mood
Joint pain and
Your Microbiome And Sleep
Humans are true super-organisms symbiotic communes comprising human and bacterial cells working harmoniously to ensure we stay healthy and vibrant.
Those vast colonies of bacteria living in and on our bodies are so critical to our well being that researchers have described their “microbiome” ecosystem as being as complex as a human organ.
Your fabulous microbiome is responsible for nurturing your metabolism, helping with your digestion, maintaining your immune system, regulating your moods, and helping you enjoy a regular sleep cycle.
Those benevolent gut bacteria connect with your brain using the vagus nerve, a cranial nerve linking the brainstem with the abdomen. Constant communication between your gut and your brain helps ensure you experience the sleep you need.
3 Ways A Your Microbiome Helps You Enjoy
A Healthy Night’s Sleep
1.Maintaining Your Sleep-Wake Cycle
Melatonin, a hormone produced by our brain’s pineal gland predominantly governs our sleep-wake cycles. Our body synthesizes melatonin in reaction to changes in light levels each day.
Our helpful gut bacteria, those now fashionable probiotics increase the body’s melatonin supply by expanding the tryptophan levels in our blood. Tryptophan is an amino acid precursor to melatonin that helps your sleep-wake cycles stay in sync.
2.Controlling Our Circadian Rhythm
Our body’s circadian rhythms represent the physical and mental fluctuations that occur over a regular 24-hour cycle. The circadian rhythms help drive a range of functions from our sleep-wake cycles and hormone synthesis to our feelings of hunger and even our body temperature.
Any interference to these delicate biological rhythms, be it from insomnia, seasonal affective disorder or even simple jet lag can trigger problems with disrupted sleep, moodiness, decision-making, cognitive function, our metabolism and even our memory.
3.Dampening Stress and Anxiety
Your gut microbes effectively reduce your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can keep you awake and heightens feelings of anxiety. Good microbes synthesise GABA, a soothing amino acid essential for revitalising deep sleep, while also producing more than 90 percent of your body’s serotonin.
Serotonin helps preserve stable moods and assists in staving off sleep-disrupting disorders such as depression.
It’s clear, that beneficial gut bacteria are crucial for if you are going to enjoy regular revitalising, healthy sleep. Forming gut-friendly habits will set the basis for long-term well being and tranquil, undisturbed sleep. Nurturing your beneficial gut bacteria may be just the jump-start you need to get your sleep cycles in sync and experience a restful, restorative night’s sleep.