Even if you’re a sleep hygiene pro, you still might toss and turn at night.
You may already do it all: a caffeine curfew, lights out at 10 p.m., and your sleep supplement du jour.
But your sleeplessness might be something grumbling in your gut...
What's Your Gut Have to Do with It?
What keeps you up at night? Stress, dread, worry, anxiousness, irritation, or even your breathing? It turns out that these sleep roadblocks can be affected by your gut health.
How can your gut positively influence these things? Tip your hat to your gut microbiome, a dazzling multitude of beneficial bacteria, fungi, and viruses that:
- Turn food into nutrients
- Produce feel-good neurotransmitters that affect mood.
- Influence your brain, nervous system, lungs, immune system, skin, heart, and beyond!
Not only that, your gut microbiome is “essential for the maintenance of normal sleep.” (1)
In fact, people with sleep issues often also have disrupted gut microbiomes, and evidence suggests that disruptions in the gut-brain axis are associated with sleep disturbances. (2)
Thankfully, there are several ways you can help your gut today so it can help you catch more Zs.
- Protect Your Gut Barrier
Separating your bloodstream from food, toxins, and pathogens that pass through your GI tract are thin mucus-coated tissue layers, aka, your gut barrier.
A weak gut barrier can increase in permeability and allow toxins into your bloodstream. This can lead to higher levels of irritating cytokines (cell-to-cell signaling proteins) as well as cortisol. (3)
Studies show that constant irritation of this kind is associated with trouble sleeping. (4)
Here’s how you can help strengthen and protect your gut barrier:
- Feed your microbiome real fiber and polyphenols (more on this ahead).
- Up your intake of fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, or kefir (5)
- Reinforce your gut barrier and promote microbiome diversity with a proven probiotic strain like L. plantarum DR7. (More on DR7 ahead.)
- Feed Your Gut Microbiome: Fiber and Polyphenols
Your gut microbes “eat” prebiotic fiber, which they ferment into byproducts called postbiotics, including short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).
Postbiotics like SCFAs are absorbed into circulation and used for housekeeping tasks (6), including for your immune system and to promote sleep. (7)
In the plant kingdom, fiber is often packaged up with good-for-you compounds called polyphenols, a superfood for your microbiome. Plus, a diet rich in polyphenols is associated with better sleep quality in adults! (8)
Here’s how to up your fiber and polyphenol intake:
- Eat a colorful diet: beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, greens, root veggies, etc.
- Dietary diversity begets microbiome diversity and health (9), which is associated with healthier sleep and longer sleep time (10), so eat lots of different plants.
- Try whole-food herbs and herbal infusions. A concentrated polyphenol source, they also offer potent, targeted benefits beyond regular vegetables—and infusions are a good alternative if you can’t tolerate much fiber.
- Get the Powerhouse Probiotic You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of
After 40 years of fermentation expertise, we’re over the moon about a probiotic strain that’s a multi-tasking superstar: L. plantarum DR7.
- L. plantarum DR7 has bested 115 other strains in scientific studies.*
- It’s clinically proven to elevate mood and support healthy gut, lung, and brain function. (11, 12, 13)
- It reinforces your gut-barrier by enhancing microbiome diversity—which can promote better sleep.
These are just a few reasons why we’ve chosen it above all others for our Gut-Lung Therapy probiotic product.
Gut-Lung Therapy gives your gut a triple-whammy treat of whole-food prebiotics, protective postbiotics, and the elite, clinically proven L. plantarum DR7 probiotic to support your gut barrier, digestion, lungs, immune system, mood—improving these can help you sleep better. With just one capsule daily!
* DR7 was proven to be a more effective strain by besting 115 other strains in measures of survivability, gut lining adherence, antioxidant capacity, and microbiome modulation.
Han, M., Yuan, S., & Zhang, J. (2022). The interplay between sleep and gut microbiota. Brain research bulletin, 180, 131–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2021.12.016
- Badran, M., Khalyfa, A., Ericsson, A., & Gozal, D. (2020). Fecal microbiota transplantation from mice exposed to chronic intermittent hypoxia elicits sleep disturbances in naïve mice. Experimental neurology, 334, 113439. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113439
- Clapp, M., Aurora, N., Herrera, L., Bhatia, M., Wilen, E., & Wakefield, S. (2017). Gut microbiota's effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis. Clinics and practice, 7(4), 987. https://doi.org/10.4081/cp.2017.987
- Irwin M. R. (2019). Sleep and inflammation: partners in sickness and in health. Nature reviews. Immunology, 19(11), 702–715. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-019-0190-z
- Bell, V., Ferrão, J., Pimentel, L., Pintado, M., & Fernandes, T. (2018). One Health, Fermented Foods, and Gut Microbiota. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 7(12), 195. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7120195
- den Besten, G., van Eunen, K., Groen, A. K., Venema, K., Reijngoud, D. J., & Bakker, B. M. (2013). The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and host energy metabolism. Journal of lipid research, 54(9), 2325–2340. doi:10.1194/jlr.R036012
- Haarhuis, J. E., Kardinaal, A., & Kortman, G. A. M. (2022). Probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics for better sleep quality: a narrative review. Beneficial microbes, 13(3), 169–182. https://doi.org/10.3920/BM2021.0122
- Godos, J., Ferri, R., Castellano, S., Angelino, D., Mena, P., Del Rio, D., Caraci, F., Galvano, F., & Grosso, G. (2020). Specific Dietary (Poly)phenols Are Associated with Sleep Quality in a Cohort of Italian Adults. Nutrients, 12(5), 1226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051226
- Heiman, M. L., & Greenway, F. L. (2016). A healthy gastrointestinal microbiome is dependent on dietary diversity. Molecular metabolism, 5(5), 317–320. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2016.02.005
- Smith, R. P., Easson, C., Lyle, S. M., Kapoor, R., Donnelly, C. P., Davidson, E. J., Parikh, E., Lopez, J. V., & Tartar, J. L. (2019). Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans. PloS one, 14(10), e0222394. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0222394
- Chong, H. X., Yusoff, N., Hor, Y. Y., Lew, L. C., Jaafar, M. H., Choi, S. B., Yusoff, M., Wahid, N., Abdullah, M., Zakaria, N., Ong, K. L., Park, Y. H., & Liong, M. T. (2019a). Lactobacillus plantarum DR7 alleviates stress and anxiety in adults: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Beneficial microbes, 10(4), 355–373. https://doi.org/10.3920/BM2018.0135
- Chong, H. X., Yusoff, N., Hor, Y. Y., Lew, L. C., Jaafar, M. H., Choi, S. B., Yusoff, M., Wahid, N., Abdullah, M., Zakaria, N., Ong, K. L., Park, Y. H., & Liong, M. T. (2019b). Lactobacillus plantarum DR7 improved upper respiratory tract infections via enhancing immune and inflammatory parameters: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Journal of dairy science, 102(6), 4783–4797. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2018-16103
- Liu G, Chong HX, Chung FY, Li Y, Liong MT. Lactobacillus plantarum DR7 Modulated Bowel Movement and Gut Microbiota Associated with Dopamine and Serotonin Pathways in Stressed Adults. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(13):4608. Published 2020 Jun 29. doi:10.3390/ijms21134608