Did you know the quality of your shut-eye could be affecting your gut-health?

According to Nutritionist and Sleep Expert Olivia Arezollo, if you’re tossing and turning at night then it can contribute to increased gut problems.

Research shows just TWO nights of insufficient sleep causes a drop in beneficial gut bacteria – contributing to indigestion, bloating, gas and acid reflux.

“Further, this study also found changes in sugar sensitivity: meaning that when sleep deprived, you’re more likely to crave sugar, yet feel less satisfied when you have it,” Olivia says.

“Conversely, another study found that those with higher sleep quality were more likely to have a healthier gut function – so for those seeking improve functioning of their delicate microbiome, sleep is science based strategy to achieve it,” she adds.

Another study showed that our circadian rhythm, or internal clock that regulates our body functions also affects the rhythm of our gut microbes too.

As a consequence, sleep deprivation can put our appetite out of balance and cause weight gain as it decreases our satiety hormone leptin and decreases our hunger hormone ghrelin.

This means we’re likely to eat more when we’re tired and unrested. But how can we stop the vicious cycle of bad sleep and bad gut health?

One small study found that volunteers who took a range of probiotics and prebiotics slept better and reported less fatigue than those taking the placebo.

Probiotics encourage healthy gut bacteria and can also be found in certain foods such as kefir, yoghurt, kombucha and sauerkraut.

Prebiotics can be found in fibre-rich foods such as apples, onions, garlic and asparagus and even our shakes.

To encourage better sleep, finishing your last meal early around 6pm and fasting for at least 12 hours is a great way to ensure your body has time to digest the meal and that you’re not going to bed on a heavy stomach.

Having a herbal tea and a long magnesium bath with a little lavender oil is also a great way to induce a quality night’s rest.