gut health and sleep

Check The Gut PART 1….Sleep

Gut health and sleep. Research has shown that people suffering from poor sleep have poor gut health, and poor gut health influences our sleep. So basically, poor sleep is a product of and a cause of poor gut health. 

 

Factors Influencing Sleep

 

Disrupted Sleep Hormones

Studies have shown that the gut microbiome produces and distributes sleep-inducing hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), and melatonin. Therefore, if the microbiome is unbalanced, this then produces an imbalance in the hormones that affect sleep. 

 

Out of whack gut microbes = out of whack sleep hormones

Take Charge 

  • Stress negatively influences our gut health and our sleep, so managing stress is essential. Try some stretching, yoga, reading or meditation before bed
  • Talk to your healthcare professional about Magnesium supplementation, as it has been shown to support healthy sleep patterns

 

Poor Digestion

It has been shown that many people who wake up during the early hours of the morning and cannot get back to sleep have impaired digestion. Therefore, if the gut is not working well, then sleep is disrupted.

Take Charge

  • Move daily to support optimal digestion and sleep
  • Avoid rich, heavy meals for dinner
  • Digestive enzymes taken with evening meals, especially if heavy or rich, may support digestion

 

Other Lifestyle Tips:

 

  • Avoid caffeine and sugar in the afternoon/evening 
  • Turn off all tech 2 hours before bed, or if this is not possible, then try blue light glasses. Another option is to setup your phone to reduce/remove blue light at night
  • Reduce: filter out some of the blue light by setting up “night shift mode” for when the sun goes down
  • Remove: you can set a shortcut (i.e., press power button 3x) to filter out the blue light; this is what ultimately hinders sleep
  • Start a bedtime routine hours before bed to prepare your mind and body (like you do a child)
  • Minimise artificial lights as the sun goes down, as this is when melatonin starts to naturally rise, so you want to support this and not trick your body into thinking it’s not nighttime.

 

FUN FACT 😉

Studies were done, taking groups of people out camping to see the effects of natural lights versus artificial lights on our sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythm). They found that artificial lights affect our melatonin (sleepy hormone) onset and, therefore our circadian rhythm. A shift of circadian melatonin patterns can happen as quickly as over a weekend when exposed to natural vs. artificial lighting patterns. 

 

So if you need an excuse to go camping, this is it 🙂

 

Love Alissa & Kristyn ❤