With the recent springing of the clocks forward, and the warmer temps outside it really feels like springtime around here. The kids are outside shooting hoops after school and begging for me to re-inflate their bike tires. I am crashing around like a zombie from losing one (yes – just one) hour of sleep. I also have noticed some queasiness and stomach aches….and no, I’m not going to pee on a stick to see if I am pregnant…I know exactly what it is.
I’ve always struggled a bit with gut health. I use to be the friend you could rely on to have a bulk container of anti-acids in her purse. I ate those things like candy. I’ve had doctors tell me I have IBS. I’ve done countless food allergy tests. I’ve tried to cut out lactose and gluten. I’ve taken prescription strength anti-acids on a daily basis. But really there have been only two things that have fixed me; 1.) Taking our prebiotic/probiotic combination daily (truly life-changing) and 2.) Making sure I get enough sleep!
Let me explain the correlation between your gut and your brain. I’m sure you’ve all heard of a little chemical called serotonin. It is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that we tend to associate with mood. It is well known that serotonin can cause a boost in our over-all mood and well-being. But did you know that 80-95% of serotonin resides in your gut??? Low levels of serotonin can truly affect your gut health.
The average adult should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Serotonin levels increase when you sleep. All of the hormones your body produces while you sleep influence each other (including melatonin and testosterone). As we get older our ability to produce melatonin decreases a little each year making it harder to sleep. This makes it harder for our bodies to produce all the hormones that make us youthful and healthy. Serotonin is also involved in proper blood flow to the digestive organs and system while sleeping (this is called vasoconstriction).
There have been a few times my kiddo’s wake up in the middle of the night sick, and I practically have the room spins. My gut gets so out of whack if someone wakes me from my beauty sleep. And as much as I LOVE Late Night With Jimmy Fallon I can hardly stay up to watch it.
Proper sleep cycles are essential to proper serotonin levels, which in turn are essential to proper gut health. This is why research now shows that drugs used to treat depression by boosting serotonin levels are also effective in treating gut health related issues.
So what I’m saying is…if daylight savings time is making you nauseous…go take a nap, it will boost serotonin levels and help to reset your body’s clock.