how the gut affects sleep.
if you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know the gut is responsible for way more than just digesting. this complex organ plays a much larger role in the body - such as absorbing nutrients, communicating with the brain via the gut-brain axis, involved in skin health via the gut-skin axis and produce neurotransmitters which influence sleep, mood and more..
which brings us to sleep.
sure bad sleep can lead to poor digestion (think over eating when you’re tired), but the opposite can also be true. yep that's right; poor gut health can lead to poor sleep.
how gut health affects sleep
the microbes that live in the gut have a direct line of communication with the brain (called the gut-brain axis), and they produce neurotransmitters, which influence sleep, mood, and more. studies have shown that one of these neurotransmitters, called GABA (which favours better sleep) is secreted by two types of gut bacteria in the microbiome; Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
GABA enables the body and mind to relax, fall asleep, and sleep soundly throughout the night. another neurotransmitter that is secreted by the gut and plays a role in sleep is melatonin. in fact, "the gut contains at least 400 times more melatonin than the pineal gland," says a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. melatonin tells your brain that it's time to go to sleep—which is an essential step in the bedtime process.
how to support a healthy gut and sleep
it's simple really. because these neurotransmitters—which directly affect sleep—are secreted in the gut, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is a great step towards improving sleep quality.
want to know more about supporting your gut health? you might like to read our blog here which discusses how probiotics can improve your gut health, and here is a round up of our favourite gut loving pantry staples here.
and of course our hero ingredient gelatin plays a role in supporting the integrity of the gut to support the production of these important sleep neurotransmitters. find your flavour here and check out some different ways to use them here.