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The Connection Between Women’s Gut Health and Sleep

Evidence suggests that a healthy gut microbiome may play a crucial role in regulating women's sleep.

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A young woman sleeping on the bed.

According to multiple studies, a significant portion of women have trouble sleeping. The exact percentage varies depending on the study, but estimates suggest that anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of women experience sleep disturbances or insomnia at some point in their lives. This can be due to a variety of factors, including stress, medical conditions, and lifestyle habits. The relationship between women’s gut health and sleep is a growing area of interest, as evidence suggests that a healthy gut microbiome may play a crucial role in regulating women’s sleep.

One of the ways that gut health impacts women’s sleep is through its effect on the production of neurotransmitters and hormones. The gut microbiome is involved in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to insomnia and other sleep disorders in women. Additionally, 95 percent of serotonin is created in the gut, and the gut microbiome also has a role in the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates women’s sleep-wake cycle.

Another factor linking gut health and women’s sleep is inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to a variety of health problems, including sleep disorders in women. Research has shown that an imbalance in the gut microbiome, known as dysbiosis, can lead to chronic inflammation, which can negatively impact women’s sleep.

The gut-brain axis, the communication system between the gut and the brain, plays a crucial role in regulating women’s sleep. The gut microbiome produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are essential to maintaining the gut-brain axis. Research has shown that SCFAs have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation and improve women’s sleep. 

Gut health also impacts women’s sleep through its effect on the immune system. Research has shown that the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in regulating the immune system in women. An imbalance in the gut microbiome can lead to a weakened immune system, which can make it more difficult for women to fight off infections and illnesses. This, in turn, can disrupt women’s sleep.

To improve gut health and sleep, women should focus on a healthy diet that is rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables, and fermented foods. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, and fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fermented foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, are also important for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. Another easy way to optimize gut health is to add chlorophyll. Chlorophyll can aid in digestion and support healthy bacteria while eliminating bad bacteria.

Reducing stress is also crucial for women’s gut health and sleep. Stress can disrupt the gut microbiome and contribute to inflammation. Regular exercise, yoga, and meditation can help reduce stress and improve sleep in women.

It’s also important for women to be mindful of the medications they’re taking, as some medications can disrupt the gut microbiome and contribute to sleep disorders. Antibiotics, for example, can disrupt the gut microbiome. If you’re taking medications that may be impacting your gut health, it’s important to talk to your doctor about alternatives.

About The Author
Taylor Lamb

Taylor is the co-founder of Juna, a leading nutraceutical brand taking a problem-solving approach to top women’s issues though science-backed plants. Juna is on a mission to prove that plants can be as effective as quick-fix pharmaceuticals and provide lasting, long-term benefits. Juna formulates targeted, plant-powered formulas with more than 60 active botanicals that solve for the stress, anxiety, detox, and sleep issues women are facing daily. Juna recently launched the Nightcap sleep gummies, which feature a science-backed sleep formula that includes L phyto-melatonin derived from St. John’s Wart, passionflower, magnesium blend, tart cherry, gaba, chamomile, L-tryptophan, and more.