Don’t you just hate laying in bed and not being able to fall asleep? How frustrating!
You tell yourself: “I need to sleep! I need to sleep!” But you just keep rolling in bed and watch the hours go by…
I’m sure you’ve experienced this a few times already…
But when it happens to you on a regular basis, it’s called insomnia, also known as sleeplessness.
Insomnia usually results in daytime sleepiness, irritability, low energy, and depression.
This is a disorder that you should get under control…
Causes of insomnia
There are many factors that can cause your insomnia, like:
- Too much stress
- An unhealthy lifestyle
- Certain medical conditions
- An unhealthy gut flora
I’m sure you’ve heard of the first ones… but you may be asking what does your gut health have to do with your sleeping disorder?
What is gut health?
Gut health refers to the bacteria that live in your gut (your intestines). Those microbes are known as your microbiome.
There are a hundred trillion bacteria living in your gut right now!
All those bacteria communicate non-stop with your brain through a nerve called the “vagus nerve”. Here’s why it is related to your ability to fall asleep:
- Your gut microbes have the ability to lower cortisol, a stress hormone that keeps you awake at night.
- Having a healthy gut flora makes you produce more Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), which calms you down and helps you sleep.
- Serotonin is a “happy chemical” linked to happiness and wellbeing and it is mainly found in your brain and your bowels. It regulates your mood and fights depression. A healthy gut produces more serotonin.
- When you have a healthy gut, your body also makes more tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy.
- When your microbiome is healthy, it stays in perfect balance with your body. But when it becomes unhealthy or stressed, it can affect your body negatively. It can mess up your appetite or sleep.
- When your gut is unhealthy, it causes pain in your intestines, which can keep you awake all night.
You see why it’s so important to improve your gut health… By taking good care of your gut, you could increase your chances of having a good night of sleep!
How to Improve your Gut Health
There are specific things you can do to improve your gut health drastically. And they are very easy changes you can apply today!
- Take probiotics daily. Choose a brand that contains at least 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) and many strains of live bacteria.
- Add probiotic-rich foods to your diet such as sauerkraut, coconut yogurt, kefir, kimchee, miso, natto, and kombucha.
- Feed your healthy bacteria with prebiotics, which means the food that your bacteria like to eat: Fiber. All fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber.
- Avoid things that kill good gut bacteria. Pesticide, antibiotics (in animal products and medicine), drugs, sodas, alcohol, processed foods, and stress.
- Exercise daily. Any type of workout will boost the level of healthy bacteria in your gut. It will also increase your energy levels and help you fall asleep faster at night.
And what about you… have you ever had insomnia? Comment below!
P.S. Please share this with your insomniacs friends!