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Probiotics and Sleep Support

by Mark Brudnak PhD ND(more info)

listed in colon health, originally published in issue 287 - June 2023

 

Abstract:

Sleep disorders are a major public health concern in the world, affecting millions of individuals and contributing to a wide range of health problems. Sleep is crucial for physical and mental well-being, and disruptions in sleep patterns can have serious consequences. Sleep disorders can take many forms, including insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and narcolepsy, among others. The symptoms and consequences of sleep disorders can vary widely, but they often include fatigue, decreased productivity, and an increased risk of accidents and injuries. It is well-established that high-quality sleep is essential to support good health. This paper discusses various aspects of how probiotic and help support normal sleep.

 

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Main Complications of Insomnia

Picture Credit: Häggström, Mikael (2014) via Wikipedia

 

Introduction

Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate amounts, can provide health benefits. Recent research has suggested that probiotics may also be beneficial for improving sleep. This essay will examine the current evidence on the use of probiotics for supporting sleep, including the mechanisms by which probiotics may influence sleep, the specific species of probiotics that have been studied in relation to sleep, and the results of clinical trials on the use of probiotics for sleep.

Background and Support

There are several possible mechanisms by which probiotics may influence sleep. One theory is that probiotics may affect the gut-brain axis, which is the communication pathway between the gut and the brain. Probiotics may alter the composition of the gut microbiome, which in turn may influence the production of neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate sleep, such as melatonin and serotonin. Additionally, probiotics may also modulate the immune system, which has been linked to sleep regulation.

Several specific species of probiotics have been studied in relation to sleep. Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis have been shown to improve sleep in several clinical trials. Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus fermentum have also been investigated, with some studies showing positive effects on sleep.

A combination of Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum has been shown to significantly improve sleep quality in adults with insomnia. Participants who took the probiotic for 8 weeks. The results showed that the participants taking the probiotic had a significant increase in the time spent asleep and a decrease in the time spent awake during the night, compared to the placebo group.

Another study found that patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) who took a probiotic containing Bifidobacterium infantis for 8 weeks showed significant improvements in sleep quality compared to the placebo group. This study also found that the probiotic group had a significant decrease in anxiety and depression symptoms, which are known to be related to sleep quality.

Some studies have evaluated the effects of probiotics on sleep in adults. Studies of randomized controlled trials found that probiotics significantly improved sleep quality, including measures such as sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and wake after sleep onset. It was concluded that probiotics may be a promising intervention for improving sleep quality in adults.

However, it is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of probiotics on sleep and to determine the optimal species, dosages, and duration of probiotic use for sleep. Additionally, it is also important to note that probiotics may not be appropriate or effective for everyone, and individuals with sleep problems should consult with a healthcare professional before attempting to use probiotics as a sleep aid.

The current research suggests that probiotics may be beneficial for improving sleep. Probiotics may affect the gut-brain axis and modulate the immune system, which can influence the production of neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate sleep. Several specific species of probiotics, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis, have been shown to improve sleep in clinical trials. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of probiotics on sleep and to determine the optimal species, dosages, and duration of probiotic use for sleep.

It is also important to note that probiotics should not be considered as a replacement for other established sleep treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) or prescription sleep medication. Rather, probiotics might be used in conjunction with these established treatments to potentially support sleep

It is also important to consider the quality and purity of probiotic supplements, as some products on the market may not contain the species or dosages that have been studied in relation to sleep. It is recommended to choose probiotic supplements that have been certified by third-party laboratories.

 

Cover The Probiotics Solution

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Probiotic-Solution-Natures-Best-Kept-Radiant/dp/093804575X

Also available from https://www.amazon.com/Probiotic-Solution-Natures-Best-Kept-Radiant/dp/093804575X

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, probiotics show promise as a potential aid for sleep. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects and optimal use of probiotics for sleep. Individuals with sleep problems should consult with a healthcare professional before attempting to use probiotics as a sleep aid. It is also important to ensure the quality and purity of probiotic supplements. With further research, probiotics may prove to be a valuable addition to the sleep hygiene toolkit.

Additional Reading

Bested, A.C., Logan, A.C., Selhub, E.M. et al. Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health: from Metchnikoff to modern advances: Part II – contemporary contextual research. Gastroenterology Research and Practice. (2013).

S Yamamura  1 H MorishimaT Kumano-goN SuganumaH MatsumotoH AdachiY SigedoA MikamiT KaiA MasuyamaT TakanoY SugitaM Takeda. The effect of Lactobacillus helveticus fermented milk on sleep and health perception in elderly subjects.

 Eur J Clin Nutr p.100-105. 2009.

Matenchuk BA, Mandhane PJ, Kozyrskyj AL. Sleep, circadian rhythm, and gut microbiota. Sleep Med Rev. Oct;53:101340. 2020.

Haarhuis JE, Kardinaal A, Kortman GAM. Probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics for better sleep quality: a narrative review. Benef Microbes. Aug 3. 13(3):169-182. 2022.

Sen P, Molinero-Perez A, O'Riordan KJ, McCafferty CP, O'Halloran KD, Cryan JF. Microbiota and sleep: awakening the gut feeling. Trends Mol Med. Oct. 27(10):935-945. 2021.

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About Mark Brudnak PhD ND

Mark Brudnak PhD has authored over 40 peer-reviewed scientific and trade journal articles and is recognized worldwide as a leading expert in the areas of probiotics and enzyme. Brudnak has written or contributed to books such as The Probiotic Solution, Probiotics For Dummies, PCR In Neuroscience, Pathway Cloning: Investigation Of A Novel Eukaryotic Cloning And Cellular Engineering System. Dr Brudnak  the Technical Director for MAK Wood, Inc., where his duties included technical writing, research, and product support/development. His major areas of interest are anti-cancer nutrients, enzyme therapy, pro/prebiotics and biologically active carbohydrates and peptides. Dr Brudnak also maintains a consulting practice in Grafton, WI USA and can be reached via mark@markbrudnak.com  https://markbrudnak.com/

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