Can A Leaky Gut Cause Sleep Problems?
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition where there has been damage to the intestinal walls that causes rips and tears. Stomach acid, undigested food particles, and various toxins can slip out of these rips and cracks wreaking havoc on our entire body. In the beginning the toxins and the bad sludge that seeps out seems to go straight to the areas of the body that are already afflicted. Stomach bacteria also leaks out and it makes its way throughout the bloodstream until it attaches to places like the joints, bones, and the thyroid.
Digestive and gastrointestinal health issues all seem to have a way of keeping us up at night or causing other sleeping problems. In some cases leaky gut can lead to chronic fatigue, disruptive sleeping patterns, and restless nights. There’s a lot that goes on in the little miniverse inside of our gut. Some people wonder how digestive and gastrointestinal issues lead to sleeping problems when the main issue is in our gut so, today we’re going to explore this topic.
How They’re Connected
Gut health issues and sleep disorders go hand in hand down a two-way street. Sleep disruptions and disorders can negatively impact the microbiota that live in our gut. On that note, gut health issues can negatively impact our sleeping patterns etc. There’s a really interesting fact about how our gut connects with the rest of our body.
The Vagus Nerve
Take our brain for instance. Our gut and brain are in constant communication 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There is an actual term for it called the gut-brain axis. There is also a gut-thyroid axis as well but that’s another topic.The vagus nerve is responsible for connecting a network of nerves within the gut all the way up to different areas of the brain. Research shows that around 90% of serotonin is located in our gut. The bacteria in our gut is capable of producing certain neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin, and dopamine. The brain and gut send signals back and forth to one another like when our stomach is full the information travels up to our brain to let us know we are full. That takes about 20-minutes.
OK, so we have a pineal gland in the middle of our brain that’s responsible for managing our body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is responsible for our sleep-wake cycle. If our pineal gland isn’t working right it relies on our gut as back up because remember, the gut can produce serotonin which converts into melatonin which helps us relax and sleep.
That takes care of that, right? Yes it does, but not if there is something wrong with our gut health. Something like leaky gut syndrome is going to send our body out of whack on different levels. The gut is overwhelmed with toxins and bacteria leaking into places it shouldn’t that the production of serotonin can be disrupted causing a ripple in our sleep cycle. When it all begins it can become a vicious cycle of gut health issues affecting the natural sleeping cycle and the disruption of the sleeping cycle affecting our microbiota and gut health. If you think about how when we are super stressed out and it negatively affects our gut causing acid reflux, indigestion, and nausea. This is another connection of the mind and body.
Chronic fatigue is a common sleep problem caused by leaky gut syndrome. Over 50% of our immune system and immune response is housed in our gut. When there is a tear in the intestinal wall lining the toxins and bacteria leak out into our system. This triggers an immune response and our immune system goes to work trying to eliminate to toxins and bacteria in our system. This is a good thing but when a leak is constant that sends our immune system into overdrive and the entire body starts sending energy to be focused on eliminating the problem. Through this process we become fatigued and want nothing more than to sleep and sleep and sleep.
Natural leaky gut treatment will help you heal your gut, as well as, get your circadian rhythm back on track. As your gut heals and your body rests you can use leaky gut supplements to help give you an immune boost helping to rebuild your strength and put that zest back in your life.