Sleep 101: Your Gut Health Matters
Whether it’s working longer hours, traveling across time zones, catching up on your favorite book or late-night doom-scrolling on your phone, getting a good night’s sleep remains a serious challenge for many people.
Any one of these aforementioned variables can disrupt your circadian clock (the human body’s natural sleep-wake schedule), stealing precious time your body needs to “reboot” and repair itself from the rigors of daily living.
Over time, these disruptions to your sleep may create vulnerabilities to serious health problems like the cluster of symptoms that lead to stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease better known as metabolic syndrome.
Did you know your gut health plays an important role in helping you get the sleep you need too?
The Prebiotic Solution
Previously, we’ve shared the results of a report from the University of Colorado about the benefits of prebiotics, the unsung heroes of gut health, related to sleep.
Made of non-digestible plant fibers and carbohydrates, prebiotics do a lot of work behind the scenes to feed the bacteria living in your gut.
Researchers at the University of Colorado were tasked by the Office of Naval Research to learn how prebiotics could ease disruptions in the body-clock from irregular work schedules, jet lag, and a lack of daily exposure to sunlight.
These challenges are a daily reality for military personnel, especially those who work on submarines for months at a time, says lead study author Dr. Robert Thompson.
First, scientists fed two groups of rats regular food or chow enhanced with two prebiotics, then manipulated their light-dark cycles (creating the stressful effect of traveling to a new time zone 12 hours ahead) each week over two months.
No surprise, the addition of prebiotics made a healthy difference, helping test animals more quickly adjust their sleep-wake cycles and core body temperatures (a problem when the body’s internal clock is disrupted).
What’s more, the gut health of animals fed prebiotics generated an abundance of health-promoting bacteria and resisted changes in gut flora related to stress and jet lag.
Gut Health and Good Sleep Hygiene
There’s lots of ways to improve your rest through good sleep hygiene. Here’s a few common-sense suggestions from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Turn off any tablets or phones at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature.
Adding a prebiotic to your diet may seem simple, given that a lot of vegetables (leeks, asparagus, garlic, onion, corn and bananas) contain rich amounts of them, but doing it consistently and daily can be challenging.
Fortunately, you can give your sleep a healthy and natural prebiotic advantage — along with the health of your gut — by taking a proven probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria and the proven prebiotic Fructooligosaccharides (FOS).