There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep, that feeling of satisfaction when you wake in the morning feeling refreshed, body and mind alert, ready to take on the day.
Realistically, how often do you wake up feeling like you’ve had a great night’s sleep? Apparently as many as 16 million UK adults* are suffering from sleepless nights.
Many studies are being done to understand the connection between our gut and our brain health. Our gut microbiome is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. Gut microbes are key to many aspects of human health including our immune system, digestion, hormones, mood, neurotransmitters, skin health, weight, pain perception, and energy levels.
So if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, embracing a gut-friendly diet and lifestyle will put you on the right path to protecting your overall health.
Here are some tips to get you started.
- Cut out processed foods, preservatives, and refined sugar from your diet, Most highly processed foods are loaded with artificial chemicals, including artificial flavours, textures, colours, and preservatives which are harmful to the digestive tract and bad bacteria will feed on the sugar.
- Eat whole foods, preferably organic if you can. My rule is to be strict on some items such as berries and soft fruits without hard skin as they will be more likely to absorb more pesticides. Try eating more fermented foods too such as kimchi, kefir and raw apple cider vinegar which are natural probiotics.
- Exercise also improves gut health so take up some regular activities such as walking, swimming, tennis or barre to get your body moving.
- Supplement with a combination of probiotics and prebiotics which can improve the friendly flora in your microbiome. Probiotics are healthy bacteria and Prebiotics are the food that feeds the healthy bacteria. It’s quite difficult to get enough prebiotics through diet alone so try adding a prebiotic powder to your smoothies.
Once you have nurtured your gut health and you start sleeping soundly through the night, you will find that your whole body feels more balanced and supported.
This blog post I wrote for Myza.co.uk, A marketplace dedicated to all things sleep related.
Zoe K – We+People