Recent research has unveiled the intricate connection between gut health and sleep patterns, shedding light on how the gut microbiome influences various brain processes, including sleep regulation.
Dr. Allison Brager, a neurobiologist, highlights the gut’s role in impacting neuron health, signal transmission, and regeneration, especially under mild stress. Serotonin, a key mood and sleep regulator, is abundant in both the gut and the brain, with the gut containing even more serotonin than the brain.
The relationship between the gut and sleep is bidirectional, as evidenced by a study associating irregular sleep patterns with harmful gut bacteria. Even slight variations in sleep timing, as little as 90 minutes, can alter the gut microbiome composition. While more research is needed, experts recommend nurturing both gut health and sleep hygiene.
To enhance gut health, experts suggest increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while reducing processed carbs like sugary drinks and red meats. Fiber-rich whole plant foods are particularly beneficial for gut microbes.
For better sleep, maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding activities like working in bed are recommended practices.
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