We know that a good night’s sleep has many benefits for the body and mind. Whilst we are sleeping, our bodies are working to regenerate and replenish. Sleep is just as important to our overall health as exercise and diet. To explain the affect the gut has on sleep, we will first discuss the Gut Brain Connection.
The Gut-Brain Connection is a term used to describe the physical and chemical link between these two organs. The health of your gut microbiome (bacteria in your gut) affects your brain health and vice versa.
So the healthier our gut microbiome, the better it is for our brain. Our gut microbiomes contain trillions of microbes (bacteria). It has been established that a healthy gut microbiome is one where –
- The proportion of ‘good’ bacteria outweighs the ‘bad’ bacteria
- There is a diverse range of different bacteria
To achieve this, our diet needs to be rich in vegetables, fruit and whole grains. These high fibre foods will help boost the good bacteria in your gut. Eating a wide variety of foods within these food groups will also lead to a more diverse microbiome. Consuming fermented foods like plain yoghurt, kimchi or sauerkraut can also enhance the function of the microbiome and reduce the number of disease-causing bacteria in the intestines.
Our gut microbes not only help regulate our circadian rhythms of our sleep cycle, but they also produce sleep-regulating hormones like melatonin, serotonin and dopamine which can help us have a better quality sleep. Looking after our good gut bacteria means we are looking after our brains which helps us in getting good night’s sleep.
Disclaimer – This article is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Always consult a registered health professional regarding any health-related diagnosis or treatment options.