Did you know that your gut microbiome has its own sleep-wake cycle (i.e. circadian rhythm?). In fact, each and every microbe has its own body clock. It’s then no surprise that if we’re not getting the right quantity and quality of sleep (aiming for 7-9 hours per night), our gut microbes will feel it too.
Consistency is key, which can be hard in times of change or stress. Try to keep to a similar sleep and wake time to reflect your natural sleep-wake cycle. Training yourself to do this will help you to feel naturally tired when it’s bedtime.
We asked Dr Sammie Gill, Gastroenterology Dietitian and Scientific Research and Development Manager, here at Symprove to share some easy-to-implement tips so you can start maximising those zzz's.
Prep Your Bedroom
- Close the windows or blinds in the day to keep the sun out, and open windows at night to make the most of the breeze.
- Switch to thin cotton bedding to keep cool and absorb sweat.
- Limit screen time (that means phones, laptops and TVs) in the few hours before bed since it can disrupt the melatonin surge (sleep hormone) needed to fall asleep.
- Keep the room dark with dimly lit lights to encourage sleepiness.
- Keep noises and distractions to a minimum.
3 Things to Avoid
- Avoid caffeine and stimulants from mid-afternoon and limit alcohol intake.
- Avoid unnecessary long napping as it may affect your ability to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Avoid eating too much or feeling hungry before bedtime. Try and finish eating a few hours before going to bed.
5 Things to Try Tonight
Keen to make the most of your bedtime routine? How about trying some of these relaxation techniques as an easy wind down.
- Take a cold or lukewarm shower just before bed, to lower your body temperature
- Try reading a good book.
- Listen to music – genre isn’t important as long as it relaxes you.
- Stretch, breathe and relax - mindfulness, diaphragmatic breathing or gentle stretching.
- Jot down your to-do list/tasks for the next day so you’re not thinking about them whilst trying to sleep.
And on that note, we wish you a blissful 7-9 hours sleep.
Read more from Dr Sammie Gill:
The Relationship Between Sleep and the Gut
3 Ways to Show Your Gut Some Love
Let's Talk to Dr Sammie Gill, Scientific Research and Development Manager at Symprove