Sleep is SO powerful for our gut health, but all too often overlooked! Studies show just 2 days of getting less sleep than we need can impact our gut microbes.
Lack of sleep can also increase inflammation and stress hormones, which might explain why not getting enough sleep is linked with worse gut symptoms, especially for those with IBS…
So the power of sleep is clear, but 1 in 3 of us aren’t getting enough.
How much sleep do we need?
7-9 hours of sleep every night is considered the sweet spot (hands up if you’re someone who needs 9 hours like me!)
So what can you do to boost your sleep quality? Here’s your challenge for the next few weeks.
Try my top tips from the Sleep Hygiene Protocol (in my book) developed by my colleagues Dr Al Khatib and team and let me know how you feel.
- Ditch your phone at least 30-60 mins before bed.
- Stick to the same sleep and wake up time every day (give or take 30 mins) to help your body’s and your gut microbes’ clock.
- Make your bedroom a place to relax – tidy, quiet, dark with only dim lighting and the temperature set at approx 18c / 64F.
- Limit caffeine after 3pm to let your body wind down before bedtime.
- Try scheduling some ‘worry time’ during the day to write down all your thoughts or to-do lists, to give yourself some mental space to relax.
- Expose your face to light first thing – whether it’s a quick walk or some stretching in your backyard.
More expert tips in the Sleep section of my book too…