How to sleep well or We are what we eat: our microbiota affects stress, sleep and mood

Insomnia again but you can't wake up in the morning?

We've all had a sleepless night where it's impossible to fall asleep. We know how difficult it is sometimes to fall asleep, especially after a very heavy day at work, with lots of stress or after hours being in traffic jams.

We all like to get a good night's sleep, but perhaps you haven't yet realized that one way to improve your sleep is in your kitchen.

The latest research on sleep science indicates that along with techniques such as adjusting your sleep schedule and having less stress in your life what you eat is also vital for a good night's sleep.

The human microbiome is the complex ecosystem of microorganisms that live in and on the human body.

For those of us who take science seriously, the fact that celebrities and health bloggers on social networks talk so much about "gut health" can probably make us think it's all a bunch of pseudoscientific nonsense. But that's not the case. In fact, there is a great deal of scientific evidence showing that the intestinal microbiome or human microbe affects almost every system in the body, including the digestive system, the immune system, and the cardiovascular system.

Studies have shown how the gut, our microbiota, impacts things like stress, sleep, and mood.

So why is your gut health important?

Have you ever been so nervous that you couldn't eat? Have you felt butterflies in your stomach when you had to talk in public or go somewhere you've never been? Have you ever found yourself running to the bathroom because you were too stressed? Strange as it may seem, your gut is often referred to as your second brain. The human gut has over 100 million nerve cells that not only tell the body when to release hormones related to digestion, but also communicate with the brain.

Bowel health affects your whole body

"Diet, what we put into our bodies, has a direct impact on our intestinal microbiome," says Camille Skoda, a scientist at the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine. "This is related to many different diseases, not only intestinal disorders, but also things like anxiety and depression".

In a perfect world, we could eat everything we enjoy and are satisfied with. Our bodies would process the food as it passes through our intestines, we would absorb the necessary nutrients and what we don't need would be eliminated through our stools. However, we don't live in a perfect world and some foods can make us feel bad, so many of us could probably adjust our diet to improve our bowel health. This may reduce the risk of developing conditions directly related to the bowel and other parts of the body.

"If a patient is starting to increase the amount of vegetables and add variety to their diet, we can track general symptoms of things like fatigue, digestive symptoms, and see improvements in the quality of their sleep," adds Dr. Skoda.

What are the best foods for intestinal health?

We've all heard of eating more fiber and staying hydrated. But there are more tips for eating a gut-healthy diet. You may need to keep trying the foods that help you feel better. For example, certain kinds of nuts are healthy, but some people have a tummy pain after eating nuts, so you should use this list as a guide, not as a definitive list of foods to eat.

Whole Grains - Whole grain foods include brown rice, barley, oats, whole wheat, and more. Whole grains contain a type of fiber with prebiotics, they help good intestinal bacteria to develop.


Green Leaves - Dark green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are excellent for intestinal health; they contain vitamins A, C, and K, as well as a good amount of fiber.

Fruit - Not all fruits are the same in terms of nutrition, but those with less fructose are easier to tolerate in the gut because they don't cause as much gas or bloating as higher fructose fruits. Low fructose fruits include citrus fruits, berries and bananas.

Avocado-often called a superfood because of its high levels of fiber and other nutrients, such as potassium

Legumes-Legumes are products such as chickpeas, lentils, and peas; they are high in fiber.

Other tips to improve your intestinal health

If you are already eating quite a healthy diet, you may only need to modify it a little. Dr. Skoda says that sometimes patients eat well but go beyond in some areas and don't have enough in others. For example, if they are eating only cooked vegetables, they may need to mix other textures. "Raw vegetables can be really helpful in affecting intestinal health," she says. Also, eat slowly. If you don't chew it thoroughly, it will make it harder for your gut to digest what you're eating.

Eating a gut-healthy diet is key to starting to improve your gut health, but there are other lifestyle issues that can also affect your gut. Getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and getting enough exercise also play a role.

Don't forget the connection between your brain and your gut

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