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This bite-sized podcast by Vedic meditation teacher & Ayurveda practitioner-in-training, Emily Rees will introduce you to the world of mindful eating.
This practice will put the joy back in eating to help improve digestion and nourish your body.
We now know that the gut does far more than just digest food. In fact, your gut is home to 100 trillion microbial cells – that’s more than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy. These microbial cells make up our gut microbiome (or gut bugs!). And just like a fingerprint, your gut microbiome is completely unique to you!
In the human body, the gut microbiome influences your immune system, skin health, mental wellbeing, hormones and sleep! Basically, your gut health affects the health of your entire body. How amazing is that! Your gut is like a mini ecosystem and requires a diverse balance of beneficial bacteria to promote health.
So how exactly do our gut bugs affect our sleep?
Great question! Let me explain. As mentioned, our gut bugs impact the hormones constantly moving throughout our bloodstream. This includes cortisol and melatonin…
Cortisol is our daytime hormone – it peaks first thing in the morning after waking! It is also our primary stress hormone and an alertness-boosting hormone, so it will keep us awake. Melatonin is our nighttime hormone – it peaks at night in response to darkness. It makes us sleepy and lets us know that it’s time for bed.
Both of these hormones together regulate our internal body clock (also called our circadian rhythm). When we have unhappy gut bugs this can negatively disrupt the natural flow of our body clock. So we feel alert at night, and sleepy during the day, that annoying wired but tired feeling. *Cue the caffeine*
But it doesn’t stop there. Just like gut health can impact sleep, your sleep can impact your gut health. Lack of sleep increases stress in the body, which means unhappy gut bugs, more cortisol and fewer Zzzzz’s. You get the gist.
Luckily for us, this means we can target the gut to improve our sleep. Because sleep is essential for repairing, restoring and rejuvenating the body! Its importance cannot be overstated.
With this in mind, here are my simple health hacks to improve your sleep (to improve your gut), starting today!
Each of these tips will help improve sleep quality to support your gut health. How beautifully connected is the human body?! Other healthy habits like eating well, staying hydrated and spending time in nature can help to increase the number of ‘friendly’ bacteria in our gut for better sleep.
Want to know more? One of my favourite books of all time is Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, I know it sounds nerdy, but I do love it. It’s pretty science-based, but I can genuinely say this book has changed my life for the better! And I recommend it to all my friends and family.
Chloe Louise Nutritionist
Chloe Worthington is a Clinical Nutritionist passionate about gut health and mental well-being. She is the founder of Chloe Louise Nutritionist, an online clinic guiding people to find balance, regain their energy and feel well. Chloe began studying nutrition after struggling with her relationship with food. She is currently undertaking a Master of Mental Health to expand her clinical knowledge and explore the power of food as nourishment for the body and the mind. Outside the clinic, Chloe enjoys daily yoga, walking in nature and cooking colourful meals! To see how easily Chloe creates delicious, nutritious meals and lifestyle tips, visit https://innerformhealth.com/
Matenchuk, B., Mandhane, P., & Kozyrskyj, A. (2020). Sleep, circadian rhythm, and gut microbiota. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 53(1), 1-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2020.101340
Neroni, B., Evangelisti, M., Radocchia, G., Nardo, G., Pantanella, F., Villa, M., & Schippa, S. (2021). Relationship between sleep disorders and gut dysbiosis: what affects what?. Sleep Medicine, 87(1), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2021.08.003
Walker, M. (2018). Why we sleep: the new science of sleep and dreams. Penguin Books.
Day 3 is done & dusted.
Firstly, for those of you who are struggling with sleep, you can thank us later!
Throughout this reset you will start to learn that your gut is an integral part of your body and it deserves to be the centre of attention. Far too often it is ignored and over time an unhealthy gut can start to manifest into other mind & body challenges. This reset is all about focusing on educating you so you can proactively identify signs of a gut that needs some support.