Sleep Prebiotics Sydney Naturopath

Improve Sleep & Reduce Stress With Prebiotics

Eastern traditions have proclaimed it for centuries – All disease begins in the gut.

Science continues to validate the importance of gut health and the microbiome for a range of conditions – autoimmunity, anxiety & depression, allergies, chronic fatigue, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease….

A recent study has suggested that the answer to correcting poor sleep may lie in ensuring we are consistently ‘feeding’ our beneficial gut flora – another win for the importance of gut health!

Published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience, dietary prebiotics were found to improve non-REM sleep (restful & restorative) as well as REM sleep after a stressful event:

“These data are the first to show that a diet rich in prebiotics can modulate the sleep-wake cycle both before and after stress and induce stress-protective effects in diurnal physiology and the gut microbiota”

It’s important not confuse the more commonly known probiotics with Prebiotics:

  • Pro-biotics = ‘beneficial’ live micro-organisms – bacteria, yeast or fungi – found in certain foods & supplements, which are essential for maintaining good health and vitality

  • Pre-biotics = non-digestible fibres that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria

Probiotics are fantastic for boosting and modulating our immune function & gastrointestinal health, but it is a common misconception that probiotics stimulate the growth of our gut flora and colonise the gut.

Probiotics are transient and do not colonise in the gut. This is why it is important to consistently consume prebiotics as they fuel the growth of “good”bacteria, and hence are a key treatment strategy in treating conditions where chronic gut dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) needs to be addressed:

  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

  • Autoimmune Diseases

  • Coeliac disease

  • Candida overgrowth

  • Anxiety & Depression

  • Stress-Induced Insomnia

Research suggests that when our beneficial bacteria digest these fibres, they not only multiply, they also release metabolic byproducts that affect brain function – butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that can protect the brain and enhance plasticity

Dietary & Supplemental Prebiotics

Bimuno Daily – was the supplement used in the study and contains the prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS).

GOS is also extremely useful for taking 2 weeks prior and during overseas travel to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea and gastrointestinal infection, during and post-antibiotics and for boosting immune health (especially in children). Sensitive people with IBS and SIBO may react to GOS as it is gas-producing, so caution may be needed

Partially Hydrolized Guar Gum (PHGG) – this prebiotic is non-gas forming, and can be safely and easily taken by anyone including those with IBS and SIBO

PHGG is non-FODMAP, and is an extremely useful tool in healing chronic gut symptoms. It is a key treatment strategy for SIBO, IBS, & chronic gut dysbiosis

Dietary sources of prebiotic and prebiotic-like foods:

  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Green Tea
  • Brown Rice
  • Leeks
  • Artichoke
  • Raw potato starch
  • Cooked and then cooled potatoes
  • Raw Cashews
  • Raw oats
  • Garlic
  • Raw chicory root
  • Plantains

Quality sleep is so important for overall health and wellbeing, and up to 1/3 people experience insomnia

Whilst prebiotics are not a stand-alone treatment, it’s definetely proving to be a worthy addition for insomnia treatment. Majority of the clients I see at clinic in Surry Hills (Sydney) benefit from targeting their gut health for improving sleep, energy and mental health

Talk with your naturopath today!

A healthy gut = a healthy life!

Steven Judge
Sydney Naturopath

Wholistic Medical Centre (Surry Hills)

(02) 9211-3811
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