Research has shown that the health of your digestive system can lead to insomnia or sleep disruption. Functional medicine practitioners always look at gut health when it comes to helping their clients improve sleep. That’s because your microbiome and underlying infections can actually cause sleep issues.
Why Does Your Digestive System Affect Your Sleeping Patterns?
Scientists studied young healthy adults who suffer from sleeplessness on a routine basis to determine why they have insomnia. Research revealed that the individuals with insomnia tended to have poor bacterial balance in their guts. Researchers believe that the poor gut health of the test subjects led to changes in the body’s circadian rhythms (your wake sleep cycle), and in many cases, the test subjects also displayed anxiety while trying to sleep, including chronic teeth grinding.
What Researchers Already Know About Gut Health and Poor Sleep
Researchers have known for many years that greasy or spicy food consumption before going to bed can lead to poor sleep, especially when someone has acid reflux. Acid reflux is common in family groups, and it leads to a backwash of acid or bile into the esophagus or mouth. Individuals who have acid reflux suffer from chronic indigestion, and if they are reclining, then the condition can be worse. Someone with acid reflux may not sleep at night due to the constant backwash of bile that causes nausea.
Can You Repair Your Gut To Improve Your Sleep?
Improving the digestive system’s functioning can improve your sleeping patterns, including reducing insomnia. Scientists believe that adjusting the balance of the bacteria in the gut can help you to sleep better. In addition to avoiding greasy or spicy foods, you should begin to ingest more probiotics and antioxidants.
These nutritional elements are in foods such as richly colored fruits and vegetables along with dark chocolate. Yogurt that contains live cultures also can balance the bacteria in the digestive tract. Drinking too many caffeinated or alcoholic beverages can change the digestive system’s health, so you should avoid these beverages as much as possible.
While your gut health might not be the sole reason you are struggling with your sleep, it is a good thing to consider. Perhaps you have a poor diet or know you don’t get enough probiotics. These are good signs that it might be at least partially from your gut. This is when you want to start improving your digestive system and see if it makes a difference with your sleep.
If you’re making dietary changes to improve your gut, but are still having trouble sleeping, you may want to investigate further with gut testing to see if you have any underlying infections. Book a free consult call below to learn more.
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