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Effect of Prebiotics On Sleep Quality Appear Beneficial, Study Says [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 25, 2017 09:29 AM EDT

A new research published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience revealed that prebiotics may help with stress-induced insomnia.

Stress has been found to have an impact on the sleep-wake cycle through changes it makes in gut bacteria. The effect of prebiotics on sleep quality was largely unknown.

Robert Thompson of the University of Colorado Boulder and colleagues studied how stressed mice might benefit from prebiotics when given a prebiotic-supplemented diet over a period of four weeks. Stool samples were examined afterward and the presence of beneficial gut bacteria was found to grow.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus which helps with the function of the immune system was included in the findings. The rats on a different type of diet did not show the same changes.

To see the effect of prebiotics on sleep quality, the team measured the sleep-wake cycles of the rodents using electroencephalography. They found that the prebiotic-fed group experienced more of the restorative stage of sleep called non-rapid eye movement (NREM).

After exposing the same group to acute stress, they also had more rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep which is believed to help with recovery from stress. Moreover, the risk for body temperature irregularities from changes caused by stress in the gut bacteria was lower.

Prebiotics are the nondigestible food ingredient that nourishes the beneficial bacteria in the intestines. They are found in chicory, leeks, onions, garlic, artichokes and other vegetables. The researchers suggested that starting prebiotics-rich diet early in life could help with better sleep quality and gut microbiota, and with a person's well-being, the Medical News Today reported.

Lack of sleep has often been attributed to stress, which adds, even more, stress to people suffering from insomnia. There are several ways to cope with stress. To find what caused the stress on a certain day, it helps to write about the event that triggered it for about 10 minutes. Then techniques can be devised to deal with it.

Talking with family, friends and people we trust may also bring the tension down. Activities such as gardening, crafts and art, spending time with pets or for a volunteer work should be enjoyed as well. Working out and doing some breathing exercises are good methods to manage stress, according to WebMD.

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