Sleep and gut health
It’s been another busy week here at the Willy’s farm. This is great and I love it but it has meant that my sleep schedule has been slightly out of whack and I haven’t been getting the optimal 7 – 9 hours sleep a night.
Sleep is such a key pillar of optimum health and well being. In addition to this, a lack of sleep is often linked with stress which can be detrimental to our gut microbiome, reducing the overall health of our guts.
Consequently, our immune system, mood, mental health and much more can be negatively affected as our body systems are so closely intertwined.
There have been several studies which have emphasised this link and one that particularly took my interest was from 2016. The researchers found that the shift between day and night doesn’t just affect our circadian rhythm but also affects our gut microbes and other organs.
Our gut friendly bacteria have their own circadian rhythm and have different functions at different times of day. So the lack of sleep/lack of routine can upset this.
In addition to this, sleep deprivation can also cause our appetite to go out of balance and off track. This is because the levels of two hormones will increase: leptin which is responsible for feelings of satiety, and ghrelin which is responsible for hunger.
Therefore, if we don’t sleep well, our hormones go off balance and we can end up more peckish than normal.
Good quality sleep can increase cognitive function and the amount of beneficial gut microbes. Therefore it’s really important to prioritise sleep and make the most of your beauty rest, alongside other healthful activities like daily movement, stress management, hydration, and your daily dose of Willy’s ACV of course…!
Some research even shows that probiotics can help improve sleep as the gut – sleep connection works both ways, i.e. a healthier gut can potentially improve sleep. This is yet another reason why I take my daily dose of Willy’s ACV as it contains gut loving probiotics to support my gut health and well-being. You can grab some here if you fancy!
I’ve done some research and have listed out some of my top tips for optimum sleep below:
- Increase bright light exposure during the day – get outside, embrace the sun and breathe in the fresh air.
- Reduce screen time in the evenings – blue light from screens trick your body into thinking it’s daytime. This can disrupt the circadian rhythm.
- Avoid consumption of caffeine in the late afternoon – try and limit caffeine intake and coffees from 3 – 4 pm.
- Try to stick to a sleep routine – waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day helps your circadian rhythm and can aid long term sleep quality.
- Avoid alcohol – alcohol can really mess up the quality of your sleep. So instead fo alcohol, why not try some of our alcohol alternative recipes on our website here: https://www.willysacv.com/recipe/#drinks. My favourite is our non-alcoholic Citrus & Turmeric Switchel – it’s delicious!
A good night’s sleep is as important as a healthy diet and daily movement. Do don’t feel guilty about an early night or a lie in at the weekends! Just try and aim for 7 – 9 hours sleep a night and try and stick to a bit of a routine if possible.