The Surprising Reason You Can’t Get a Good Night's Sleep

Katie Sweeney
PHOTO:

Wildfox

Having a healthy gut is more important than you think—the bacteria that lives in our bodies impacts everything from depression to obesity to autoimmune diseases. Now Yahoo is reporting that the microbes in our digestive tracts could be influencing how well you sleep at night. “Recent evidence indicates that what you eat and when you eat can in turn affect sleep,” says Dr. Phyllis C. Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The body’s sleep rhythms are linked to other processes like metabolism, and new studies show that they are also linked to the gut microbiome. “There is evidence that the gut microbiome also has circadian rhythms and cycles,” Zee explains. “When healthy, its rhythm is regulated and in sync with the brain’s clock that regulates the timing of melatonin secretion.” To ensure that you have a healthy gut, the doctor recommends that you stick to regular sleep, wake, and meal times and that you feed the microbes in your stomach. Take probiotic supplements, and add fermented foods like kimchi and miso to your diet. Avoid sugar and refined carbs.

To learn more about how the gut affects the body, read Gut Wisdom.

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