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Sleep and gut microbiota

Sleep is crucial for good health, yet so many of us struggle with it.  

Poor sleep affects energy levels, mood, cognitive function and overall well-being. Long term poor or insufficient sleep also increases the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 

But did you know that a healthy gut is also essential for good sleep! 

We know that imbalances in the gut microbiome, the community of microorganisms in our gut, known as dysbiosis, can lead to inflammation and so it is essential to address gut health if we want to improve our overall health.  

Research indicates that a diverse gut microbiome, produces substances that promote sleep quality and regulate mood, whereas vice-versa, changes in gut bacteria can disrupt this sleep-awake cycle, causing sleep problems.  

Stress also impacts the gut-brain connection. Therefore, managing stress and promoting a healthy gut can improve stress levels, sleep and cognitive function. 

Our gut bacteria have their own daily routine! Yep, they follow a rhythm, just like us. 

Factors like light and dark cycles, our sleep patterns, what we eat, and when we eat all play a role in this bacterial dance. It’s like a 24-hour gut party that’s crucial for our health. 

These tiny organisms in our intestines change their composition and location throughout the day, influencing our body’s rhythms with their own special cocktails—metabolites like butyrate, vitamins, and other goodies. It’s a bit like they’re our internal mixologists, whipping up health-boosting brews! 

But here’s the kicker: when we mess up our sleep or eat at odd hours, it throws off our gut bacteria's healthy rhythm. This disruption can lead to less bile acid conjugation and more hydrogen sulfide production—not a great combo. This chaos can mess with our energy regulation and even contribute to obesity and metabolic syndrome. Scary! 

So, what’s the takeaway? Prioritise good sleep and a healthy diet to keep your gut bacteria happy.  

And who knows, by keeping your gut bacterial rhythm in sync, you might just have found a brand-new way to support your circadian and metabolic health.  

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