Plenty of information has been written in recent years about the connection between the gut and the brain. After decades of research, scientists are just beginning to discover the major role that the gut plays when it comes to benefiting our general health.
Often called the body’s “second brain”, your gut can affect everything from your moods, and emotions to your immune system. This is because the microbiome can produce hormones that influence mood, and energy metabolism, along with insulin resistance. All of this can also have a significant impact on glucose control, cholesterol, obesity, sleep, energy levels and fatigue.
New Research Into The Gut-Brain Connection
The latest research into the gut-brain axis published in JMIR Research Protocols, also suggests that the gut microbiome plays a powerful role in helping us to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Gut health and sleep are connected in numerous ways and health experts claim that studies show that the richness of our gut bacteria can help in promoting a good night’s sleep. That also includes how long you spend in bed, how quickly you may fall asleep and whether you’re more likely to wake up in the night or not.
Your gut microbiome is a unique ecosystem containing trillions of tiny organisms and bacteria living in the digestive system. Everyone’s gut microbiome is unique and is formed over the first 1000 days of life, where it quickly develops into a complex neural network that transmits messages from our brain towards this human gut ecosystem – in a communication system known as the gut-brain-axis.
Nourishing Your Gut Health Is Essential For Good Quality Sleep
If you want to enjoy a better night’s sleep, it’s essential that you start by reviewing your overall health and lifestyle.
Achieving gut health is key to unlocking all of the above benefits when it comes to good health.
When you have a healthy balance of digestive bacteria, this can stimulate the production of serotonin in the gut walls. Serotonin is a hormone that can help to lift moods while improving anxiety and depression.
Once serotonin is converted into melatonin in the brain, this can naturally help to stimulate a good night’s sleep. Studies have also shown that when there’s an imbalance of gut bacteria – a condition known as dysbiosis – this may be connected to fragmented sleep and a short sleep duration.
Your Gut’s Circadian Rhythm
Research suggests that the gut is connected with the circadian rhythm or the body’s 24-hour internal clock as this helps with carrying out essential functions and processes. The circadian rhythm, in particular, is known as the sleep-wake cycle. Health experts suggest that when melatonin levels change, this can impact the sleep-wake cycle.
Having a healthy gut also means having enough melatonin to help to keep your body clock in good stead. Melatonin is produced not just by the brain, but also by certain bacteria in the intestine too.
How Stress and Sleep Affect Gut Health
When we’re asleep, our body’s perform essential ‘housekeeping’ of these bacteria from the small intestine, through to the colon. This can help with regulating bowel movements, while protecting against bacterial overgrowth and things that may be stagnant in the guts.
Stress can play a powerful role in affecting both the brain and the gut. Research shows that sleep loss is associated with raised stress in the body. This can increase the gut’s permeability (known as leaky gut) where food or toxins can cross the barrier from the gut into the bloodstream and the rest of the body.
A lack of sleep will also trigger your immune system, releasing more pro-inflammatory cytokines which may worsen gastrointestinal disorders.
If you’re feeling anxious, you may also find that gut symptoms may worsen and this can influence your sleep negatively too.
Nutrient Recommendations For Good Gut Health
For best gut health and support, we recommend the following nutrients. These nutrient recommendations are available from Good Health Naturally.
Sodium Butyrate – A short-chain fatty acid, it’s one of the three most common SCFA’s in your gut, and the building blocks that our cells need to function. Supports digestive health and provides immune health benefits.
PrescriptBiotics™ – A custom cultured blend of 8x soil-based organisms in a prebiotic food source that can support digestive health and improve immune system function.
Essential Digestive Plus™ – A digestive enzyme formula with natural prebiotic Fruta-Fit Inulin that can help to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and support intestinal health.
SleepWell™ – A synergistic blend of 5-HTP, Melatonin, Valerian Root, Passiflora, Hops, MSM and Vitamin B, the ingredients of which have been shown to increase REM sleep, deep sleep and reduce symptoms of insomnia and jet lag.
Ancient Magnesium with Melatonin – Ultra-pure Zechstein Magnesium Lotion with Melatonin for enhanced relaxation and improved sleep. Provides topical Magnesium for maximum absorption through the skin.
Research shows that having a healthy gut begins with building a strong immune system. The gut and brain are interconnected and gut bacteria play a key role in benefiting both your moods, energy levels and in supporting you to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
This is why it’s important to get immune healthy first. Along with following a detailed nutritional supplement plan for best mental and mood support as listed above, consider the immune-supporting lifestyle solutions and follow the fundamental health care rules…
Never Forget The Fundamental Health Care Rules
All of these rules are detailed further in our eBooks that you can view
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1. Breathing properly – Oxygen is the most critical element for life and health since most people cannot live more than 5 minutes without it. Oxygen is critical for healthy cells, and the regeneration of your body and is the essential fuel for your immune system. You can improve the oxygenation of the body by learning to breathe from the diaphragm (tummy). We also recommend laying down instead of sitting down.
2. Sit less – Those who sit for more than 8 hours per day are more likely to have health problems and die younger than those who sit for less than 3 hours per day. When you are sitting your breathing is the least effective. If you are unable to stand, laying down is better than sitting.
3. Drink Plenty of Water (with Sodium Bicarbonate) – Water is the second most critical nutrient and most people would die after 7 days of drinking no water. Consume around 6-8 glasses of pure water over the day (with a small amount of Bicarbonate of Soda and Organic Liquid Trace Minerals added for extra benefits). Tip: Prepare the bottles in the morning and take them with you or leave them on the table to remind you.
4. Walk More – Walking is vital for two reasons; improving breathing and intake of oxygen and circulating blood around the body. The heart is not a pump and does not pump blood around the body it is a circulator and needs walking movement to work efficiently. To get the most benefits; walk at a good pace with longer strides whilst keeping your pelvis slightly forward and tucked in at the bottom of the spine. If you cannot walk, then lay on your back with your legs elevated and cycle your legs every few minutes.
5. Stop eating all grains, cereals, and other high-sugar foods and drinks – Research indicates that the consumption of wheat contributes to the growth of pathogenic bacteria in our gut, adding to the mounting concern that grain/cereal (often contaminated with Roundup herbicide) is one of the worst types of foods to consume for gut health. The foods to avoid include; high-sugar foods and drinks, breads, pastry, biscuits, breakfast cereals, rice, potatoes, parsnips, and wheat-based pasta. See alternative recipes at my www.ReallyHealthyFoods.com, and select Keto for the best health options.
6. Eat more greens, other colourful vegetables, and dark-skinned fruits – Organic options are best if possible. Many of the discount supermarkets offer organic foods at low prices.
7. Take Nutritional Supplements – Your body and cells need specific nutrients to function optimally. Most of the critical vitamins and minerals are no longer in foods in sufficient quantities. This is particularly important for if/when children are planned, and as we age. Government Nutritionists will claim that eating a balanced diet contains all of the nutrients needed. This is simply not true. Most critical minerals are dangerously deficient.