Our digestion can impact how well we sleep, and our sleep can impact how well we digest. Poor quality sleep can lead to bloating, constipation, and leaky gut, and inflammation.
Here is what happens to our gut when we do not get good quality sleep.
Disruption to good gut Bacteria
Stress: Cortisol - inflammation, bloating, leaky gut
Poor food choices
Melatonin and GERD
Late night eating
Quality sleep improves gut bacteria diversity. We need a diverse microbiome since different species are responsible for different functions in the body. As I had mentioned in a previous blog post, some bacteria are able to improve fat loss. Other gut bacteria regulate our emotional state, while some prevent and aid with digestion. This in turn prevents bloating, pain, and constipation. We want more of the good bacteria.
With poor quality sleep, we produce more cortisol, a stress hormone that directly impacts the gut. Not only do we literally feel stress in our tummies, but the hormones can disrupt the microbiome in a way that can lead to fat storage, inflammation, leaky gut, bloating, pain and constipation.
With poor quality sleep we are also likely to crave poor quality foods the next day. Think sugary snacks. Sugar in and of itself can disrupt the gut by killing off the good bacteria and feeding the bad ones. The more sugar we eat, the more sugar loving bacteria we have, the more problematic our gut is. Sugar also causes inflammation.
Another important hormone that gets released with proper sleep is melatonin. Not only is melatonin important for sleep, but it also regulates gastrointestinal motility. When this system is hindered in any way, it can lead to acid reflux and GERD.
If you are eating instead of sleeping, that can lead to weight gain, hormone imbalance, blood sugar spikes and constipation.
Getting good quality sleep is more important than we think. It has a tremendous impact on multiple bodily functions. Next time you get drawn into staying up late, pay attention to how your body feels the next day.
Do you suffer from digestive health issues? Lets chat!