A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. In fact, many health experts view sleep as a way your body “reboots,” much like a computer, to repair and restore itself from the stresses of the day.
Previously, we’ve talked about how disrupting your sleep-wake schedule — better known as your body’s circadian clock — not only steals time your body needs to replenish and restore its resources, it harms the health of your gut microbiome too.
Good Sleep, Good Gut Diversity
Researchers from Nova Southeastern University and Middle Tennessee State took on the job of finding gut health connections to sleep with the help of 26 healthy patients.
Over 30 days, patients were monitored 24/7 for their sleep-wake activity (by wearing smart watches), took tests to measure their cognitive skills in eight areas and provided saliva and fecal samples.
No surprise, sleep quality and total sleep time yielded significant benefits for patients related to the diversity of species and richness of their microbiomes, while fragmented sleep patterns affected overall sleep quality and gut health adversely.
On the cognitive side, the gut health/good sleep connection stood out in a few measures including abstract matching, while a lack of richness was linked to poorer risk decision-making.
Scientists also found increased levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) that were linked to total sleep time and positive impacts on diversity and richness of the gut microbiome.
The Take-Home Message
On the surface, getting more sleep along with the quality and time you devote to it goes a long way towards the health of your gut, and thus, your overall health.
Also, following good hygiene before you go to sleep by taking simple steps — maintaining a consistent sleep routine and turning off your phone, laptop computer or tablet about an hour before you turn off the lights — can help.
Health experts also believe taking a probiotic along with a prebiotic may do lots of good, not only to promote better more restful sleep, but to protect the rich diversity of bacteria in your gut as well. But not just any probiotic will do…
Be sure to look for a probiotic formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families that mirror the diversity of bacteria in your gut, plus a prebiotic that feeds the “good guys” in your gut, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.