Is Poor Sleep Causing Your Poor Gut Health OR Is Your Gut Health Causing Poor Sleep_058

Is Poor Gut Health Causing Your Poor Sleep? (And 5 tips on How to Improve it!)

The Importance of Gut Health is More Necessary Than You Think

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There you are, laying in bed wondering why you can’t fall asleep. I am sure that the first thing that comes to your mind isn’t “my gut health must be off.” But believe it or not, poor gut health relating to poor sleep is a delicate balance. If you have poor gut health your sleep quality is going to suffer and if you aren't getting good enough sleep then your gut health is going to suffer. This is a vicious cycle that we need to break. 

SO many people complain about their sleep quality... If you haven't gotten a good night's sleep in weeks, months, even years (yes I run into people that haven't gotten quality sleep in years!) then you don't realize how life changing it is. This is why today I wanted to talk about why our sleep and our gut health suffer when we don't have one or the other. 

When it comes to sleep and your gut health, the vagus nerve runs from your gut to your brain. There's a gland that your brain is in charge of called the Pineal gland, it works with your circadian rhythm (which takes care of when you wake and when you sleep.) When that gland is not functioning properly then the second form of backup that helps your sleep hormones is your gut. The pineal gland is what secretes your melatonin (people often use this natural supplement to help with sleep.) When this gland is not secreting this properly OR when you're taking melatonin and your body doesn't need to secrete it anymore, (which yes it can happen) then it relies on your gut.

If however, you aren't taking melatonin and you are just having a hard time sleeping it could be that your pineal gland isn’t functioning properly. When it’s not functioning properly, then it's going to (again) look to your gut to convert Tryptophan into Melatonin. This is all done INSIDE of the gut! Your body is trying to get the process of going to sleep and staying asleep started. Now after all is said and done, your gut needs to be functioning properly for it to take that tryptophan and turn it into melatonin. So if you don't have an optimal gut or optimal gut health then it won't be easily processed.

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Your gut is in charge of producing a couple of different neurotransmitters that are important. Neurotransmitters are similar to hormones, they are used to trigger and activate different responses in the body. Neurotransmitters work in the brain but they also are created in the gut. A few of them are:

  • Gaba

  • Dopamine

  • Serotonin.

It's very likely that most people suffer from some gut health imbalance. Due to the American diet, environmental toxins, and stress it's very easy to get your gut health out of whack. And it's pretty difficult to get it back into its prime state…. but it can be done. I am going to give you the tools so you can start mapping out what you need to focus on.

Here are 5 ways that you can start improving your gut health to get it back into a healthy and robust form.


1. Prebiotics and Probiotics Improve Poor Gut Health Naturally:

I previously talked about a good probiotic and how to find the best kind. When you’re done with this post, head over HERE if you are looking for a good one. Just remember that not one magic probiotic is going to work for everyone. Probiotics re-inoculate your gut health because there are a ton of things that can affect your gut. We are exposed to them every single day, but here's a quick list:

  • Processed foods (even marketed “healthy foods” if it’s in a box it’s processed.) 

  • Excess sugar

  • Lack of fiber

  • Inadequate hydration

  • Exercise

  • Emotional or mental stress

  • Excessive use of antibiotics

  • Excessive use of prescription drugs (yes this includes birth control ladies) 

There are a bunch of other factors but all of these can negatively affect your gut. The probiotics are going to help keep that good and bad bacteria balance in check. We NEED to have bad bacteria in our gut! It is not possible to only have good bacteria…. but the goal is to keep that -balance- with more good than bad bacteria. Getting on a quality probiotic is the first step in curing your poor gut health.

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2. Hydration Helps Restore Gut Health:

The VERY FIRST thing I do in the morning (and recommend everyone to do) is chug a big, fat glass of water. I fill up my 24 ounce mason jar with cold or warm and squeeze half a lemon in. If you don't like lemon you can add mint, cucumber, lime, or just plain water. 

Get in a BIG glass of water first thing in the morning because 

1. You're already banking that into your water bank for the rest of the day

2. You're going to set up yourself and your gut for a better day.

It's going to help trigger peristalsis which is going to give you that nice satisfying bowel movement that we all hope and dream for in the morning. Especially those of you who suffer from constipation. This is one of the things that REALLY got me over the hump of constipation. I was chronically constipated for 23 years of my life. And water first thing in the morning has kicked it into gear.

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3. Magnesium Helps Constipation and Poor Gut Health:

One thing I found to be very helpful is magnesium, especially if you're constipated. Think about this, if you're constipated all of the time you have a ton of toxins and waste just sitting in your stomach that is basically “retoxifying” your body. Many of us are deficient in magnesium because it’s not as highly available in our foods anymore because of the soil we have. I love the Thorne Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium CitraMate it works so well for me, I suggest trying it to see if it works for you. 

The Magnesium relaxes all of your muscles. We often have a fear about going to the bathroom so we clench, tighten up, and hold it in until we get home because we don't want to go poop in public. If we constantly do this, we are training our bodies to not want to go to the bathroom.

Magnesium is awesome for relaxing things, getting them moving and grooving. Just an overall good supplement to have a nice, fully excreting bowel movement.

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4. Collagen is a GREAT Gut Health Supplement  

Alright, I am going to be honest….when collagen first came out I was like “here we go another freakin product that's just going to be a scam” I was very wrong about this. I have been taking collagen for a year and a half now because I try everything before I recommend it. I swear to you guys, it has made my gut so much stronger and more robust. It is amazing that I can trust that my gut is strong enough. Now if I go out to dinner, I can eat a little bit of dairy or corn (which are two things that personally don't work for my body) because I have so much faith in my gut and I truly think it’s from collagen. I love the Vital Proteins Collagen, I use their collagen creamer and now they have collagen lattes which are so so good.

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5. Intermittent Fasting Helps Restore Healthy Gut Flora

Last but not least, this is a more advanced tip but it is one that I recommend. Intermittent fasting! This is when you fast for a certain period of time then have an “eating window.” You can start by doing a 12 hour fast where you would typically stop eating anything at night at about 8 pm and won’t start eating anything again until 8 am. This gives your body time to rest, rejuvenate, repair, and do what it has to do without having to digest anything. Digestion takes so much energy.

So many of us eat way too much way too often and our body has no time to focus on anything else but digestion. For me personally, I change my routine every couple of months. Right now I do a 12-14 hour fast and sometimes I switch to a 16 or 18 hour fast. Every person is different but give it a try, I promise it's not as bad as it sounds! 

Grab yourself a probiotic, some water, magnesium, collagen, and start fasting. Those are my 5 baby beginner steps on improving your gut health and getting it back to a robust reliable state. You should start to see your sleep improve by adding these steps into your daily life. To help out, I have a FREE Gut Health Guide for you to download. It has all of the items I recommend. Now you can get on your way to better overall health.

Is poor sleep causing you to have poor gut health or is it poor gut health that is causing your lack of sleep? Today I break down WHY this could be happening and 5 simple tools to start implementing today to start improving BOTH your gut and your sleep!


Products Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Seed Probiotic - Use code Dani10 for 10% off

Thorne Magnesium

Vanilla Collagen Coffee Creamer!

About The Podcast:

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Note: The opinions and advice from Dani or offered from The Detoxing with Dani Podcast or any of it's guests are not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Please consult your doctor first.

Danielle Ferguson