More and more scientists are discovering the connection between the mind and the gut with the mantra being if you can heal your gut, you can heal many other health problems as well including anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Everyone seems to know that probiotics are great for wellbeing, but what isn’t so well known is that despite probiotics introducing good bacteria to the digestive tract, by the time they enter the mouth and reach the stomach, many of the good bacteria have already died. Luckily there is a way that you can still maintain healthy gut bacteria and help with your sleep. Prebiotics are a natural plant fibre that help gut flora, however rather than adding extra “good” bacteria, they act as a kind of fertiliser to the good bacteria that is already present. Unlike probiotics they are not effected by heat, cold, acid or time.
One of the reasons taking prebiotics at bedtime is proving beneficial to sleep and anxiety related issues is that it has been shown to reduce the level of cortisol in the bloodstream. Excess cortisol is responsible for excess wakefulness and sends an energising signal to the body. This is particularly bad when there is excess cortisol surging through your body at night.
New research from the University of Colorado Boulder suggests that the answer to a good night’s sleep may lie in the gut. Scientists at conducted a study to find out if sleep can be improved by prebiotics and found that dietary prebiotics can improve non-REM sleep, as well as REM sleep after a stressful event.