Gut Microbes: A Key to Normal Sleep

Gut Microbes: A Key to Normal Sleep

Gut Microbes: A Key to Normal Sleep 1920 1280 Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

If you’re having trouble with sleep, your gut microbes may be the issue.

Research from the University of Tsukuba in Japan revealed the extent to which bacteria in the gut can impact behaviors like sleep. The detailed study involved a group of mice who were given a cocktail of antibiotics for a month to deplete them of intestinal microorganisms. When comparing these altered mice with control mice, researchers found the microbiota-depleted mice slept during more irregular times and when they did sleep, it was more restless.

Read more about the study below:

“[Researchers] found that compared with the control mice, the microbiota-depleted mice had more REM and non-REM sleep at night — when mice are supposed to be active — and less non-REM sleep during the day — when mice should be mostly sleeping. The number of REM sleep episodes was higher both during the day and at night, whereas the number of non-REM episodes was higher during the day. In other words, the microbiota-depleted mice switched between sleep/wake stages more frequently than the controls.

Professor Yanagisawa speculates that the lack of serotonin was responsible for the sleep abnormalities; however, the exact mechanism still needs to be worked out. ‘We found that microbe depletion eliminated serotonin in the gut, and we know that serotonin levels in the brain can affect sleep/wake cycles,’ he says. ‘Thus, changing which microbes are in the gut by altering diet has the potential to help those who have trouble sleeping.'”


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Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Ruelas holds doctoral degrees and is licensed to practice in both medicine and psychology. He approaches his patients by gathering and analyzing data differently from other physician’s moving away from a disease model to a holistic functional model. Read Bio

All articles by : Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.