|If you have a hard time getting to, or staying, asleep, you really need to read this.
I had no idea my gut could affect my sleep. But it does. And it’s important you understand why your gut could be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Back in 2007 I wasn’t sleeping well at all. But a simple saliva test showed my stress hormone – cortisol – was way too high, and my stool test showed I had H. pylori.
After I got rid of the H. pylori, my stress hormones reduced and I slept much better.
Odd as it may seem, your sleep can be affected by having bad bugs like H. pylori in your digestive system.
These bad bugs – as well as some common foods such as gluten – can cause inflammation in your gut.
Inflammation is swelling, redness and injury on the inside, just like you see when you hit your thumb with a hammer, cut your leg on a piece of glass, or sprain your ankle.
Ongoing inflammation in your gut leads to too many stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol being made by your adrenal glands.
These stress hormones act like fire-fighters – they are sent into the inflamed areas to put the “fire” out.
Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are designed to wake you up, and under normal circumstances, they are at highest in the mornings.
They literally rev you up and get you ready to take on the day ahead.
At night, adrenaline and cortisol do the same thing – they rev you up! Trouble is, this means you WON’T get a good night’s sleep.
Why is this important?
Well, research shows that sleep deprivation causes even MORE inflammation, which causes MORE stress hormones.
Given that inflammation is now known to be the root cause of disease, and that a lack of sleep is linked to cancers and diabetes it’s worth taking care of any sleep issues.
Here’s how you do it using some really simple tweaks. Some may be blinding glimpses of the obvious, but how many do you do?
1. Make sure you go to bed on time – don’t stay up too late. A good bedtime is 10:30 to 11pm.
2. Sleep in a pitch-black room.
3. Use earplugs if noise wakes you up.
4. Turn off all electric equipment, including alarm clocks – the light from the alarm clock causes increases in stress hormones.
5. Try eating a snack that has some protein and carbohydrate, around 20-30min before bed (some goat’s cheese and a piece of fruit can work well). Doing this keeps your blood sugar stable, which keeps stress hormones down.
If these don’t work, it’s time to get serious about finding the reason why you’re not sleeping well.
Getting a good night’s sleep will give you more energy during the day and it will improve your mood, concentration and keep you looking youthful.
It’ll also reduce your risk for many chronic diseases that are so common these days.
If you have digestive symptoms as well as having trouble sleeping, run a stool test.
If it turns out you have a bunch of bad bugs living in there, not only will it tell you why you have digestive symptoms like heartburn, bloating and gas, but will also give you a good idea why you’re not sleeping well.
Once you get rid of the bad bugs and settle down your gut inflammation, you’ll feel a “million bucks”!
Don’t forget, a stool test is done in the privacy of your own home, you just send off a sample in the packaging provided.
And if it comes back ‘blank’ you get a full refund.