The Gut Sleep Connection

How you sleep and your microbiome co-exist on a two-way street – the microbiota has an effect on how we sleep and sleep and circadian rhythms appear to have an effect on the gut bacteria. While research is still on-going, early indications point to lack of sleep quickly having an adverse effect on your microbiome.


While research is still on-going, early indications point to lack of sleep quickly having an adverse effect on your microbiome.

Swedish and German scientists conducted an experiment in 2016 using nine healthy and normal-weight young men.  After only two nights of partial sleep deprivation, they found a significant decrease in the type of beneficial bacteria, changes to the composition of microorganisms in the microbiome that are specifically linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, and a significant decrease in insulin sensitivity.


Kent State researchers did a follow up study in 2017 to investigate the link between relationship between poor sleep and age-related cognitive decline and the role of the microbiome. A group of adults ages 50 to 85 were studied and they found strong connections between higher sleep quality, better cognitive function, and higher levels of beneficial gut microbes.


If you can take steps now to sleep better and address issues of poor sleep, you can help protect your metabolic health and reduce risks for weight gain and diabetes.

We should undoubtedly be paying attention to our brain function, but let’s also talk about how fragmented sleep affects the microbiome and your metabolic health -- Research indicates that fragmented sleep plays a part in the microbiome effects on metabolic health by triggering inflammation that leads to metabolic dysfunction. It’s a complicated relationship but there is growing evidence that sleep and the microbiome are intertwined. If you can take steps now to sleep better and address issues of poor sleep, you can help protect your metabolic health and reduce risks for weight gain and diabetes.

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