How does poor sleep impact your gut health?

gut health

A bad night’s sleep can do a lot more than simply make you feel tired…

If you’ve ever had a bad night’s sleep, you’re probably familiar with the stomach grumbles and rumbles which can accompany your exhaustion the next day. Your gut has a huge role to play in your overall health, and a poor sleep pattern can compromise its ability to do its job properly.

So you may not be aware of this, but your gut and sleep patterns work together to improve your health overall. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between these two factors, exploring what poor sleep does to your gut. But remember, it’s not all bad . . . get to bed early sleep until you wake naturally and you’ll not only feel refreshed but your body will also love you for it!

It limits your body’s blood sugar control

Glucose in the blood provides energy and nutrients that are vital for your organs, but research shows that being sleep deprived can inhibit your body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. A study by the University of Chicago found that “after about a week of sleeping only four hours a night, study participants shows their first meal of the day elicited peak blood sugar responses akin to ages about 30-40 years.”

It changes your gut microbiome

Every part of your body is connected, so it makes sense that when you haven’t had enough sleep your stomach may not feel right. There’s science to justify this too. Your gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms and their genetic material that live inside your intestinal tract, and a study published in Molecular Metabolism found that just two nights of poor sleep can disrupt the ratio of Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes in your gut microbiome. This disruption can lead to illness and disease over time.

It can lead to gut inflammation

Poor sleep can cause your gut to become inflamed, leading to discomfort and potential pain. Sleep deprivation can increase the production of B cells. Normally, these cells contribute to your body’s defence system, but excess B cells can increase allergies and asthma. What’s more, sleep airway disorders can also provoke your immune system to go into overdrive, which essentially means that it starts attacking itself. This can make your body overreact to simple environmental changes, triggering allergies, skin conditions and gut discomfort.

It can cause sleep disorders which negatively affect your gut

Your gut health can see long term complications as a result of sleep disorders like sleep apnoea. This is shown through research, as Dr Michael Gelb, D.D.S., M.S. – a sleep specialist in New York – explains that conditions like sleep apnoea can have a negative effect on your gut microbiome.

Dr Gelb states: “When your microbiome is less diverse, it can affect production of serotonin and melatonin which affects your ability to sleep. In an animal study this disruption caused inflammation — precursors to heart disease and diabetes.”

So if you’re having difficulty sleeping, as well as a grumbling stomach, a sleep disorder could be to blame.

It can increase intestinal distress

For those currently living with an existing intestinal issue, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), poor sleep health can make symptoms worse.

Our bodies need a lot of energy to function properly, and one of the processes which requires a good chunk of energy is our digestive system. Eating, chewing, processing food and eliminating what we don’t need requires effort from our bodies, and without sufficient sleep we don’t have the energy to perform this process as smoothly and painlessly as we should.

And that’s not all. When we’re sleep deprived, we also rely more on food for our energy, particularly junk food — i.e. the kind of food which most commonly causes gut problems.

There’s no doubt that there are huge benefits to getting your sleep habits right. From keeping a regular bedtime to avoiding too much screen time and getting the sleep surface right, there is so much to be gained from simply putting more effort into nodding off.

If you want to make more of your time in bed, make sure that you’re sleeping on the best. Click here to find your nearest Mammoth retailer and test drive our range today.