Do you have trouble sleeping? Your gut could be to blame, says new research from the University of California, Berkeley. Scientists from the Centre for Human Sleep Science believe there is a link between the digestive system and sleep issues, specifically, that the health of gut bacteria is connected to a person’s sleep quality.
“This is an embryonic field right now in the annals of sleep research,” Matt Walker, director of the Center for Human Sleep Science, tells The Guardian. “We know an enormous amount about the relationship between a lack of sleep and appetite, obesity and weight gain, as well as aspects of insulin resistance and glucose regulation. What we don’t fully understand yet is the role of the microbiome in sleep.”
Clinical psychologist and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Dr Michael Breus says the research looks promising. “There is no question in my mind that gut health is linked to sleep health, although we do not have the studies to prove it yet. Scientists investigating the relationship between sleep and the microbiome are finding that the microbial ecosystem may affect sleep and sleep-related physiological functions in a number of different ways: shifting circadian rhythms, altering the body’s sleep-wake cycle, affecting hormones that regulate sleep and wakefulness.”
Taking probiotics is one way to promote a healthy gut while the specific science is determined.