Not sleeping well? You’re not alone. Research reveals 35% of children and 61% of adults do not get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. Another piece of data says a shocking 60% of Canadian adults and youth are tired a good deal of the time. Some of the repercussions of sleep deprivation include high blood pressure, heart disease, increased colds and flu, weight gain, and even accidental death. Getting to the bottom of the sleeplessness in our society is matter of improved health and vitality. What if you knew your inability to get a good night’s sleep wasn’t in your mind but a problem with your gut health? Let’s look at the connection between the gut and sleep and between probiotics and sleep.
Serotonin and sleep
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible in part for the body’s sleep/wake regulation. When the levels of serotonin are off-kilter, the body’s cycle of sleep is disrupted. Another function of serotonin is to produce the hormone, melatonin.
Melatonin and sleep
As serotonin is synthesised by the pineal gland, it produces melatonin. Melatonin is stimulated when darkness occurs and brings with it the relaxed state of sleepiness. The body begins a rhythmic cycle of sleep/wake, following the dark/light cycle of nature.
The gut connection
So, how does all of the above tie in to your gut (digestive system)? Melatonin also is responsible for altering gut bacteria; it’s also noteworthy that gut bacteria impacts melatonin production, as well -- not just melatonin, but serotonin, too. So, if your gut bacteria is out of balance (Dysbiosis), it definitely has significant impact on the production of melatonin and serotonin; in consequence your sleep will suffer.
Probiotics and gut health
Multi-strain probiotics have the ability to balance the good and bad bacteria in the gut, getting it to the right level. This may help eliminate gut inflammation, thus causing the gut to function properly. Melatonin and serotonin can then do their jobs in making you feel sleepy and before you know it, you are off to dream land. Keeping the gut healthy is essential for so many reasons, and a good night’s sleep is just one of them. Taking a probiotic supplement improves gut performance by reducing inflammation and restoring balance to bacteria.