Probiotics For Sleep – Can they help?
I remember back when I first swallowed my first probiotic capsules. I was hoping they would help with my chronic IBS but what happened next came as a complete surprise to me.
I wasn't a full blown insomniac (thank god...) but for whatever reason I would find it difficult to fall asleep and awake frequently throughout the night. I didn't think of it has a huge problem and just accepted it.
The first week I took probiotic supplements, I had the deepest most fulfilling sleep of my life. I slept like a cute little baby.
Insomnia has been on the rise with modern life and it can effect everyone it different ways. Causes of insomnia may include stress, anxiety, diet, physical injuries or from poor sleep hygiene.
Probiotic's may be able to help if your poor sleep is caused by something physical or mental. More studies are coming out every year looking at the incredible impact probiotic's can have on both mental and physical health.
Melatonin Is Produced In The Gut
Melatonin is synthesized in the enterochromaffin (EC) cells throughout the gut. (1) The Melatonin hormone is crucial for creating the rhythm in which our body understands when it is time to sleep.
Taking probiotic's can make sure our microbiome and producing the hormones our body needs for a good night's sleep.
90% of Serotonin is produced in the gut
Just like Melatonin, studies have shown that Serotonin is also produced in the gut. The studies are more clear cut and claim that a whopping 90% of Serotonin is produced by the gut cells. (2)
This is a staggering amount considering many people still think the brain produces all of our serotonin. Too much serotonin can prevent you from having high quality REM sleep. (3)
May Lower Cortisol
Being stressed can make it super hard to switch off and fall asleep. It may even wake you up in the middle of the night.
Just like Melatonin and Serotonin, Probiotic's can also in some cases, increase or decrease the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters and biologically active factors such as serotonin. (4)
Probiotic's may help with Anxiety & Depression
The microbiome is able to send signals directly to the brain. In this 2016 study, people with major depression took a probiotic supplement containing three bacteria strains for eight weeks. At the end of the study, most had lower scores on the Beck Depression Inventory, a common method of evaluating depression symptoms.
Probiotic's May Lower Inflammation
Sometimes after a surgery or after a physical injury the pain may make it difficult to relax enough to fall asleep. According to this study, there is some evidence that Probiotic's may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
More specifically the study mentioned that it may help with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. If IBD is keeping you up at night then it may be worth trying Probiotic's to see if they help or not.
It should be clear now that the gut has a big influence on the way we feel. The studies are out there to confirm that probiotic's may help with getting a good night's sleep.
I don't know for sure if it was the probiotic supplements I was taking before that helped me sleep like a baby. I was super stressed back then so that may have been why they worked so well.