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Can Gut Health Affect Sleep?

Yes, it can! 

Your sleep patterns are controlled by something called serotonin,1  90% of which is made inside your gut.2 Damage to your gut microbiome by antibiotics, stress, sugar or environmental toxins (hello, Christmas!) can wipe out the delicate gut bugs that produce serotonin inside your system, wiping out your ability to sink into a refreshing sleep. 

This is important because your sleep and your mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation can affect your psychological state and mental health, increasing your chances of being affected by anxiety and depression.3

What can you do? 

Drinking kefir and taking a prebiotic daily is a great start, to restore your gut microbiome and repair any damage that may have been done over the holiday period. This is a great long-term solution, that will also help your overall wellness, boosting your energy during the day and improving your digestion, skin and mood. 

But what if you need a faster fix, to help you drop off at night?

Many common sedatives have been shown to harm the gut microbiome, further damaging your gut health and reducing your chances of healthy sleep.4  If you need a bit of extra help to drop off at night, it’s important to use something gentle and natural, that won’t further harm your fragile gut bugs. 

Top Tip For Natural Sleep:

Our Sing Me to Sleep Tea has just been named one of the ten best sleep teas by the Independent. It’s a loose-leaf herbal tea that contains lavender, hops, valerian, chamomile. These health-boosting herbs support good gut health and don’t damage your fragile gut microbes, as chemical medications may do. 

According to the Independent:  “Chuckling Goat’s Sing Me to Sleep Tea  is a thoroughly floral tea with a healthy dose of lavender flowers, hop flowers and chamomile flowers, hand mixed with valerian root (a huge 35 per cent). The brand says: “The persuasive power of natural herbs will relax and lull you off to sleep without harming your microbiome” – i.e. your gut bacteria which regulates things like anxiety, sleep and immunity. And we certainly did feel all the better for drinking it after a few nights. Valerian is commonly sold as a sleeping aid thanks to its mild sedative properties, so this is a gentle, soothing way to enjoy its sleepy benefits without waking up feeling groggy – we felt refreshed. This is a loose leaf tea so needs to be steeped in boiled water for 15 minutes before straining and drinking three cups at hourly intervals before bedtime. The lavender perfumed flavour might not be to everyone’s taste but we couldn’t fault its efficacy. We like the fact that Chuckling Goat teas are made without plastic or nanoplastics (often found in teabags) too. https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/food-drink/best-bedtime-teas-a8733286.html

How to use this sleep aid

Cover 1 TBSP herbs with 3 cups of freshly boiled water, lid and steep for 15 minutes. Strain and drink 1 cup, 2 hours before bedtime, and another cup 1 hour before bedtime. Reserve the third cup to drink in case you wake in the night. Tea can be reheated by adding more hot water.

Sweet dreams! ; ) 

References

  1. NCBI - "Serotonin and Sleep: Molecular, Functional, and Clinical Aspects". Written by Dennis T. McGinty, PhD on May 1, 2009
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2675905/
  2. ScienceDaily - "Microbes help produce serotonin in gut". Written by California Institute of Technology on April 9, 2015
    link to articlehttps://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150409143045.htm
  3. Harvard Health Publishing - "Sleep and mental health". Written by Harvard Medical School on July 1, 2009
    link to articlehttps://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health
  4. NCBI - "Impact of antimicrobial therapy on the gut microbiome". Written by Amira A Bhalodi, Tjitske S R van Engelen, Harjeet S Virk and W Joost Wiersinga on January 25, 2019
    link to articlehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6382031/

4 thoughts on “Can Gut Health Affect Sleep?

    1. Hi Vic,

      Let us know how you get on!

      If you need any help adding this to your subscription, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via LiveChat, email or phone 🙂

      Best wishes,
      Emma.

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