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Dietary Probiotics Can Help Improve Sleep, Fight Impact of Stress

Update Date: Feb 27, 2017 07:30 AM EST

There are many benefits that come with probiotics. These good bacteria for the gut are present in fermented foods and dietary supplements. A new study reveals that these good bacteria is not only great for the stomach but can also offer significant impacts in improving sleep and fighting against the psychological impacts of stress.

Science Daily reveals in its latest article that probiotics can help address sleep issues and fight stress. A study conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder suggests that a lesser-known prebiotic can serve good bacteria inside the gut while improving sleep and fighting the negative effects of stress. This dietary prebiotic can improve a non-REM sleep as well as REM sleep even after a stressful event.

Dr. Robert Thompson, a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Integrative Physiology and author of these new study found these probiotics in chicory, artichokes, raw garlic, onions, and leeks. These bacteria, when digested and synthesized as prebiotic fibers multiply and improves the overall health of the gut. They also release metabolic products that can influence brain function.

LA Times reports that living well nowadays can be difficult with stress mostly ruling life and sleep becoming a pitiful exercise of tossing and turning around at night. Breaking bad habits and introducing new ones that can forge better health results can produce not only the type of health that people want but a way of living people deserves.

The researchers initially tested this prebiotic diet to 3-week-old male rats. The rat's body temperature, gut bacteria, and sleep-wake cycles using EEG and brain activity testing were observed and recorded. Rats that are under the prebiotic diet were observed to have more time in non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep, which is the restful and restorative form of sleep, than rats who were on a non-probiotic diet.

These rats were later exposed to stress got more REM sleep post-trauma and will less likely to suffer from PTSD. Rats with prebiotic diet buffered from these impacts and maintained a diverse and normal temperature despite being exposed to stress.

Although it is too early to recommend prebiotic supplements to help aid sleep, more studies are being conducted to be able to buffer the impacts of stress to sleep and the general health of a person by maintaining a healthy and diverse gut microbiota.

Further studies and examination of the role of probiotics in promoting sleep and fighting stress in people are being conducted to finally address stress and sleep problems amongst the population.

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