When you understand the scary way lack of sleep affects your gut, you will realize why sleep should become more of a priority in your life, if it isn’t already.
At first, the thought of a little less sleep affecting your digestive tract doesn’t seem that serious, but it really is.
Why is your gut so important?
Besides digesting food and making it useable for the body, the gut is also key to keeping you healthy. Science has shown that the majority of the immune system actually lives in the gut, and that the beneficial bacteria in the gut are key to fighting many diseases.
We have covered so many ways in which sleep is beneficial, and how lack of sleep can greatly affect health.
Health experts don’t fully understand why lack of sleep is linked to so many serious conditions, but a new study showing how it affects the gut may get them one step closer to figuring it out.
According to the study, not getting enough sleep may cause changes to gut bacteria, which could change the way our metabolism works, affecting many bodily functions.
The new study is the first one to link lack of sleep to gut bacteria problems, explained senior study author Jonathan Cedernaes.
The research team followed nine participants who spent two nights sleeping in a lab for eight and a half hours, and then two more nights of sleeping for only four and a half hours.
They found that those who had less sleep had less of specific strains of bacteria. The amount of these bacteria decreased by almost 50 percent, and that was only after two nights of inadequate sleep.
The finding is significant because an imbalance of gut bacteria is thought to be a major factor for obesity.
The ratios of gut bacteria after less sleep also resembled those in people who were obese or had metabolic diseases.
The researchers also observed that the participants were 20 percent less sensitive to insulin after less sleep, which is a major risk factor for diabetes.
The study showing that scary way lack of sleep affects your gut was published in the journal Molecular Metabolism.
If you need some help getting those ZZZs, check out our article on 7 tips to supercharge your sleep.
Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.
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1. “The Terrifying Way Not Sleeping Enough Actually Changes Your Gut.” HuffingtonPost.com. The Huffington Post, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2016.
2. “Gut Microbiota and Glucometabolic Alterations in Response to Recurrent Partial Sleep Deprivation in Normal-weight Young Individuals.” Molecular Metabolism. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2016.
3. “The Gut: Where Bacteria and Immune System Meet.” Johns Hopkins Medicine. Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2016.