Intestinal health has a close connection with healthy brain function. New research from the University of Tsukuba in Japan suggests that gut bacteria may also influence normal sleep patterns by helping create important chemical messengers in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine.
This finding could offer new hope for people who have difficulty sleeping or experience sleep-related health problems, such as insomnia, chronic fatigue, and mental fog.
“We found that microbe depletion eliminated serotonin in the gut, and we know that serotonin levels in the brain can affect sleep-wake cycles,” says the study’s lead author, Prof. Masashi Yanagisawa. “Thus, changing which microbes are in the gut by altering diet has the potential to help those who have trouble sleeping.”
This new research builds on a solid body of previous work, which established that elements of cognition and brain development have a strong link with intestinal…