How dietary prebiotics are linked with better sleep

Prebiotics lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, help in improving digestion, and reduce risk of obesity and result in better hormonal balance


What is the first thing that comes in your mind when you hear the word bacteria? A large group of harmful microorganisms? But not every bacteria that exists is harmful. Probiotics are the bacteria that are good for our health and are found in fermented foods like yogurt, buttermilk and kimchi.

On the other hand, prebiotics are the undigested fibre compound in the human body which can’t be fully broken down. After passing through the small intestine, they reach colon and get fermented there. Prebiotics and probiotics work together to allow changes in the gastrointestinal system.

A new study conducted by University of Colorado Boulder highlights the benefits of prebiotics as food for the good bacteria in the gut which also helps in improving sleep. Prebiotics refers to the dietary fibres which are found in food items like raw onion, raw garlic, leek, cooked onion and raw asparagus.

Prebiotics lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, help in improving digestion, and reduce the risk of obesity and results in better hormonal balance. Now, researchers are also saying that they can help in giving you good sleep.

In the study, scientists fed a three week old male rat, a diet which contained prebiotics and kept a check on the rat’s body temperature, gut bacteria and sleep-wake cycles. It was found that the rat that was fed the diet containing prebiotics spent more time in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep than the ones who took a non-prebiotic diet.

The rat also spent more time in rapid-eye-movement sleep. This stage of sleep helps in relaxing your mind and overcoming stress. Moreover, stress reduces the healthy gut bacteria present in our body while prebiotics helps in maintaining them and also normal temperature fluctuations in the body even when exposed to stress.

Source: Smart Cooky