Scientists have discovered that your gut health and sleep are related, but they have yet to understand the connection. What is known is that taking a prebiotic fiber and probiotic supplement — such as Regular Girl Original Powder — is a smart bet. In this YouTube video, Nutrition Myth Buster Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS boils it down to this: “Take care of your gut. It really is the foundation of all health.”
Bowden explained many researchers are studying the connection between sleep and gut health. “Does sleep disturbance screw up microbiome or does microbiome screw up sleep?,” pondered Bowden. Researchers are trying to understand the link. They know that sleep disturbances may lead to diabetes, obesity and other health concerns. They also know there is a connection between gut health and brain health, and that the gut makes most of our bodies’ serotonin which regulates mood and plays a role in sleep, appetite and many other physiological functions.
In his video, Bowden echoed the general consensus of researchers: “We want to take care of our gut because it will likely also improve our health and our sleep.”
Bowden’s three gut-health tips:
- Eat a lot of fermented foods. Bowden suggested full-fat yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut because they are loaded with probiotics. “While you are at it, it might be a good idea to add a probiotic supplement because we’re probably not getting enough fermented foods,” he added. “A probiotic supplement is a good way to cover your bases.”
- Take a prebiotic supplement. “There’s actually a study that was out this year that showed that people on a prebiotic supplement had marked improvements in about four different measures of sleep efficiency and sleep quality,” Bowden said, explaining that prebiotics are basically food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. “The one I like a lot is Sunfiber. It’s a prebiotic fiber that’s odorless and tasteless and mixes in anything. You can get it on its own brand or you can also get it as an ingredient in the better fiber supplements,” he said. Blush, that’s Regular Girl!
- Eat a wide diversity of food. “If you want a rich, diverse microbiome you have to give it a rich diversity of colors, flavors and textures,” said Bowden. He suggests consuming berries, nuts and seeds, and avoiding a high-sugar diet. “It is very disruptive to so many areas of health, but specifically the microbiome.”
Improving your gut health may have a profound effect on your overall well-being. “Your digestion will be better and when that happens you know that something is changing in your gut that’s going to affect hormones and neurotransmitters, and ultimately sleep,” Bowden said.