Every week we seem to learn something new about how the gut microbiome affects nearly every aspect of our health. Numerous studies have linked gut microbes to immune function, nutrition, and exercise. Add to that an expanding body of research suggesting gut microbes also affect circadian rhythms, sleep quality, and even some sleep disorders. Accordingly, we were excited to find this recent study further examining the connection between gut flora and sleep. In this experiment, researchers used antibiotics to wipe out the gut flora of one group of mice while leaving the control group undisturbed. According to the authors of the study, mice that had their gut flora wiped out had significantly different variations in metabolism for amino acids and vitamins related to neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin, compared to controls. One of the functions of serotonin is to regulate the sleep/wake cycle, and a disturbance in its production can result in sleep dysfunction, causing us to sleep too much or too little. With this knowledge, scientists can now focus on identifying which metabolites in the gut are directly related to sleep regulation. This is yet another argument in favor of learning to take good care of your microbiome.
Go Deeper: The first item to tackle to ensure the health of your gut is through diet, You can help keep your microbiome happy by eating gut-positive foods. Here is a quick list to get you started. like pre-biotics (fiber-rich foods) or using a probiotic.
If you want to take it to the next level learn more about personalized pre- and probiotic formulas from Viome.