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 really important - try to keep to a similar sleep and wake time everyday. In fact, changes in sleep timings between working and non-working days, called social jetlag (e.g. getting up early in the week and having a lie-in at the weekends) has been linked to changes in the gut microbiome.
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
- Keep your bedroom cool at night to mimic the drop in body temperature than happens when we fall asleep – keep your bedroom shaded in the summer months and use a fan or open windows at night to make the most of the breeze.
- Limit screen time (that means phones, laptops and TVs) in the few hours before bed since it can disrupt the melatonin surge (sleep hormone) that signals to the body that it is time to go to sleep.
- Prioritise your bedding – choose natural fabrics for sheets (such as cotton, bamboo or linen), a supportive pillow, and pyjamas that are cosy but breathable.
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.
3 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.
- Unwind - try reading a couple of book chapters or listen to a podcast or music - genre isn’t important as long as it relaxes you.
- Gentle movement – try mindfulness, diaphragmatic breathing or stretching.
- Write it down - jotting down tasks for the next day can help your brain offload – this can help limit sleepless nights. It also means you’re not thinking about them whilst trying to sleep.
And on that note, we wish you a blissful 7-9 hours sleep.