We’re all about you getting enough sleep. Sleep is important for recharging your brain and body to take on the new day. Specifically, adequate sleep helps you in decision making, control your emotions and behavior, and helps support your immune system.1
If you are struggling to sleep enough, a diet rich in prebiotics may help improve your sleep! This has to do with how prebiotics function in our bodies. Prebiotics are carbohydrates from plant based foods that can’t be fully digested when consumed. These undigested fibers then make their way to your lower digestive tract, where they are “food” for the microorganisms living there. The microbiome needs prebiotics to flourish, and, without the proper amount, can suffer. We need to care about the health of our microbiome because it helps our bodies with so much, including immune regulation, body weight maintenance, digestion, stress regulation, and the production of vitamins B, B12, and K (which helps with blood clotting).2 Our gut does so much, and prebiotics help it do it!
Right now, you might be noticing “stress regulation” listed above as an unexpected function of the gut. Because prebiotics act as food for our gut, they may increase the “gut microbial species that reduce the impact of stress”.2 Stressed bodies often have trouble sleeping.3 To alleviate this stress, you might try many methods—meditation, counseling, lifestyle, or diet changes. Consuming more prebiotics could help you sleep better and reduce the impact of stress on your body. Prebiotics are found in foods such as bananas, sweet potatoes, asparagus, onions, and many, many more. If supplements are more your style, Fiber Choice® has a line of great-tasting options that you can find here.
1 Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency. Accessed August 17, 2020.
2 Fast Facts About the Human Microbiome. https://depts.washington.edu/ceeh/downloads/FF_Microbiome.pdf. Published 2014. Accessed August 17, 2020.
3 Thompson RS, Roller R, Mika A, et al. Dietary Prebiotics and Bioactive Milk Fractions Improve NREM Sleep, Enhance REM Sleep Rebound and Attenuate the Stress-Induced Decrease in Diurnal Temperature and Gut Microbial Alpha Diversity. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5223485/. Published January 10, 2017. Accessed August 17, 2020.