We all know that gut bacteria influences our digestive system but did you know it can also have implications on our sleep?
Not sleeping impacts not only our mood but it influences how our body uses the food we eat.
You thought it was as simple as getting into bed and going to sleep, didn’t you?
Sleep is a critical factor to maintain our health. The body gets to rest, repair and recharge. While we are sleeping body processes are taking place; hormone regulation, immune function regulation and repair of the gut lining to name a few.
We all know that serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is produced in both the gut and the brain. What you may not realise is that gut microbes influence serotonin production. Over 80% of serotonin is made in the gut and it helps with mood. Serotonin is synthesised in the pineal gland to make melatonin- the major sleep hormone. Melatonin controls your wake sleep cycle or otherwise known as your circadian rhythm. Four hundred times more melatonin is made in the gut than the pineal gland. In the gut melatonin regulates motility (peristalsis) and inflammation.
Not enough sleep also impacts the bacteria in the microbiome for example; Sleep apnoea impacts the bacteria in as little as six weeks.Research shows that there are significant changes to the diversity and make up of the bacteria during this time.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Sleep?
Improve your sleep hygiene with these simple tips.
- Get sun during the day to regulate your circadian rhythm.
- Go to bed at the same time everyday so you can connect with your circadian rhythm.
- Get regular exercise as this helps you fall asleep faster and deepens your sleep.
- Try to get outside into natural light to help the body’s natural production of melatonin.
- Keep the bedroom as a place where you sleep or be intimate with our partner.
- Take a warm bath or shower before bed as this increases your body temperature slightly and when you get into bed the temperature lowers and helps you get to sleep.
- Meditate or do some deep breathing exercises as this helps your body move from the Sympathetic nervous system’Fight or Flight’ to the Parasympathetic Nervous system ‘Rest and Digest’.
- Make sure the there is no light in the room as to increase the release of melatonin.
Feed your gut bacteria foods from the gut loving diet to increase the numbers and varieties of good bacteria.
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Do you have trouble sleeping?
Do you also have gut troubles?
What has worked for you?
If you would like to know more about how I could help you, book in for a free 15 minute consultation and let’s get you started.