The City Mattress Blog

sleep tips

Sleepless in Seattle? It Could Be Your Gut


Tossing and turning all night? Counting sheep like they're jumping hurdles at the Olympics? You might be surprised to learn that the culprit behind your sleep woes could be lurking in your gut. Recent research suggests a fascinating link between sleep quality and the trillions of bacteria living in your digestive system – the gut microbiome.

Gut Feeling: How Your Microbiome Affects Sleep

Think of your gut microbiome as a microscopic ecosystem. Different types of bacteria thrive there, and the balance between these populations plays a key role in your overall health. Studies have shown that a diverse and healthy gut microbiome is associated with better sleep. People with a wider variety of gut bacteria tend to sleep longer and wake up feeling more refreshed.

On the other hand, an imbalanced microbiome, where unhealthy bacteria take hold, can disrupt your sleep. This is because the gut and the brain are in constant communication via the gut-brain axis. The gut microbiome produces neurotransmitters, like GABA, which helps regulate sleep. An unhealthy gut can lead to decreased GABA production, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Sleep on It: How Sleep Affects Your Microbiome

The relationship between sleep and the microbiome is a two-way street. Just as your gut health can influence your sleep, poor sleep can also negatively impact your microbiome. When you don't get enough sleep, your body goes into stress mode. This stress response can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut, promoting the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

Sweet Dreams: Tips for a Good Night's Sleep and a Healthy Gut

So how can you create a win-win situation for your sleep and your gut microbiome? Here are a few tips:

  • Prioritize sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.
  • Develop a relaxing bedtime routine: This can include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing meditation.
  • Eat a gut-healthy diet: Focus on whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and prebiotics (found in yogurt, kefir, and certain fruits).
  • Limit processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats: These can disrupt your gut bacteria.
  • Consider probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria that can help restore balance in your gut. Talk to your doctor about whether a probiotic supplement might be right for you.

By taking care of your gut health, you're not just promoting better digestion, you're also setting yourself up for a better night's sleep. So ditch the sheep counting and focus on creating a healthy gut environment – your slumber will thank you for it!