5 Steps for Seriously Snoozy Sleep
The Science & Steps for Getting Some Quality Shuteye
This blog post is probably more for me than you.
Mark went out of town this past weekend and to mix metaphors I took full court advantage. You see, Mark is the structured one out of the two of us. He has his “things” that he’s obnoxiously OCD about (“well that’s hurtful” he whispers when he reads this).
His gym attendance, car care, dish washing and don’t get me started on his supplement regimen-it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen; and I’m a SUPPLEMENT FORMULATOR!
He’s annoyingly consistent and by virtue of association, I get dragged into his patterns; and I actually THRIVE on his unwavering stability.
Sooo... when he’s out of town, I go bananas. The wind dictates my schedule. The weather compels me to do this or not do that. My mood wantonly makes critical decisions based on nothing more than emotion. It’s really just sort of a free-for-all.
As a result of this tomfoolery, I stayed up until 3am two nights in a row and I wasn’t even binge watching YOU or Grey’s Anatomy or anything. It was more like time and space suddenly had no hold on me.
At some point in these twilight hours, I actually caught a work bug and coughed up some meaningful content that you, my loyal and faithful audience has repeatedly demanded.
One piece that came to light was this blog post. So if it makes sense, I was in a groove. If it doesn’t, I was delirious. And it’s in that vein that I write:
I’m not the only one getting to bed late and not getting sufficient ZZzzzzs. There’s an epidemic of sleeplessness, late nights and early mornings that don’t coincide with healthy living and I for one, am tired of it.
As per the usual, here’s some science, sass and steps on getting you some quality shut eye.
Sleep Starts in The Gut
The intestinal microbiome (the critically acclaimed world of bacteria) produces and releases many of the same sleep-influencing neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, GABA and melatonin. Which is to say our microbiota has an affect on how we sleep. In turn, sleep and circadian rhythms appear to affect the health and diversity of the important bacteria that lives in our gut.
In 2016 a group of Swedish and German scientists were among the very first to investigate the impact of insufficient sleep on the composition of the human microbiome. It’s a small study that included nine healthy, young men who were at normal weight.
None of the participants suffered from sleep disorders, and all had regular sleep patterns and regular eating patterns (nerds!).
So they plucked these poor saps out of society and began messing with their seemingly peaceful, mundane lives. After just TWO nights of partial sleep deprivation, scientists probed like crazy and found:
A significant decrease in certain types of good bacteria
Changes to the composition of microorganisms in the microbiome that are linked specifically to obesity and type 2 diabetes
A significant decrease in insulin sensitivity
To recap, nosy scientists set perfectly healthy individuals on a life-altering path that will undeniably lead to lives of expensive and chaotic problems they otherwise would not have endured if not for their participation in this study. ;-)
But they did it for you and for science. Don’t let their sacrifice be in vain. More important than these 9 strangers health however, is that the study tells us they’re finding that insufficient sleep is causing you and me to acquire gut issues and our gut issues are causing us to sleep poorly; sounds like a classic vicious cycle to me, which stresses me out and round and round we go.
So instead of taking a nap or going to bed at a reasonable hour, I’m writing a hypocritical sleep-inspired blog post at 2:43am. I’ve compiled a list that will help us get ahead of the problem and reverse the vicious cycle into a…. a polite, linear pattern of gut saving, sleep inducing habits.
5 Snoozy Sciency Steps
REMOVE the foods that are causing issues. When a food disagrees with you, then trust your gut and kick it to the curb. Try an elimination diet like THE GUT REFRESH.
REPLACE the foods you just gave the boot and opt for loads of fruits and veggies. I’m talking tossing spinach in your smoothie, adding extra veggies in your soup, never go a meal without something plant based and even add in some fruit for dessert. The more diverse your diet, the more diverse your gut bacteria. DIVERSITY is key to really stellar gut health
PROBIOTICS are super important to not just gut health but whole-body health. Your skin even has its own microbiome!! Take one pre+probiotics pixie daily and you can switch up your bacteria balance in only a few days! We have learned that at least 80% of serotonin is actually produced by the gut bacteria and that serotonin converts into melatonin.
HYDRATION is VITAL. It lubes up your loins nicely so that things move through. Water also helps with bacteria, mucosal lining, motility and loads of other human functions. Grab your Yeti and drink up!
L-Glutamine is the top supplement for leaky gut. There are studies in abundance on this amino acid and its role on the epithelial cells aka your gut lining. Drink up your repair+ everyday and you’re good to go. Plus it has prebiotic fibers to feed your bacteria and detox out the junk n gunk in your gut. Then herbs to help with inflammation and good ol flatulence.
Still not sure on how to GUT STARTED? Schedule a Gut Together consultation
2. Circadian Rhythm
Use a circadian light to mimic the sun. Whaaaaat? Right after turning off my alarm I turn on my fancy schmancy light. I’m told it’s a close relative to the sun, and this light wakes my body up like the dawn sets off a rooster.
This also revs up the digestive system, providing natural energy throughout the day. When it’s time to wind down for bedtime I just turn it off and make sure to use blue light glasses when I’m in front of electronic screens because Melatonin production is inhibited by light
This helps your circadian rhythm march to the beat of your I-HAVE-TO-GET-GOOD-SLEEP drum.
#GutHack: Don’t eat a big meal after the sun goes down or after you have turned off your circadian light. Stay tuned for a future blog post on circadian fasting benefits!
There’s a whole cocktail of neurotransmitters involved in driving wakefulness and sleep, including histamine, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, glutamate, orexin and acetylcholine, and a few others.
I dare say the most important being serotonin. It’s the one I always say makes you happy, horny and sleep well. We’re mainly here to talk about the last one, sleep but the other two are pretty cool too.
Serotonin is used by the body to produce yet another hormone, melatonin, sometimes called the “ sleep hormone”, which is a major regulator our biological or circadian clock. You’ve probably seen melatonin supplements flood the shelves but you should pass on those. Taking melatonin as a supplement may handicap your body from making it on its own, causing you to up your dosage and rely on it. Instead balance everything out and give your body the above supplements so that it will create it on its own.
As mentioned above, around 80% of serotonin is produced by gut bacteria. Another neurotransmitter produced by the gut bacteria is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Its relaxing effect promote amazing sleep by decreasing beta brain waves and increasing alpha brain waves.
I focused in on this right after my miscarriage because of the sudden drop in my estrogen levels. This can reduce serotonin so I made sure to continue my pre+probiotics for all its neurotransmitter creating bacteria, added Bliss to balance it out and made sure to get my B6 supplement happening for serotonin.
I bounced back quickly. This balance enabled me to attempt getting pregnant again, ya know cuz I was happy and horny. Plus my hormones were back to normal. I also realized how much more energy I had in the day and how much more sleep I got at night when all my neurotransmitters were in zen mode.
A serving of magnesium a day may keep the restless nights away.
One small double-blinded clinical trial of 43 elderly people were randomly assigned to receive either 500 milligrams of magnesium or a placebo for eight weeks. They found that those who received the supplement fell asleep faster and spent more of their time in bed asleep, but their total sleep time was not necessarily longer.
Not EVERYONE is deficient in magnesium. However, I run with a gut broken crowd. In my consults I ask if someone is on diuretics, such as hydrochlorthiazide (Hydrodiruil) and furosemide (Lasix) because they’ll cause an increase in magnesium loss in urine.
Since most peeps coming at me have gut issues and have been long time users of proton-pump inhibitors like omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid) whch have both been shown to interfere with magnesium absorption.
Then you have older adults and people with certain disorders, such as Type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases and alcoholism that can have deficiencies!
Try adding a little magnesium at night, I LOVE drinking magnesium. I also found this magnesium spray that helps with morning sickness!
Essential Oils are kinda like magic. I use my Calm for just about everything. Motion sickness? Calm.. Tummy ache? Calm.. Stressed? Calm.. when I hear of a girl with morning sickness? Calm… Seriously for me the quote goes KEEP CALM AND ROLL ON.
Since Calm is a blend for topical use. I use a couple different oils for my diffuser.
I rev up my humidifier, diffuser, rub on my non toxic lotion so that I’m not messing up my hormones through those chemicals, I put my phone away and I prepare for pillow talk.
At 7 months pregnant, I’m implementing ALL THE THINGS to help me sleep. I’m NOT a side sleeper. It hurts my ear and hips and I'm just not about that life but I have to so for the health of me and my baby so I’ve invested in this pregnancy pillow on top of my tips above.
I’m sleeping pretty well, except my ear still gets sore!!
As always thanks for visiting my little space online
I just love your guts!!
Chanelle Cozette Doyle
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This allows me to continue to provide you with free & fabulous content.
Thank you for your support! Xo