Serotonin and melatonin are two of the main neurotransmitters that help regulate your body’s sleep cycle – or circadian rhythm. Serotonin is involved in wakefulness, triggering sleep and in our very valuable REM sleep. It is also the building block of melatonin – which is associated with sleep onset and the sleep/wake cycle. Amazingly a whopping 90% of your serotonin is produced in your gut. Research is also showing that our gut is actually the main source of melatonin production, in fact 400 times more than the pineal gland in the brain. Good bugs in the gut are also known to produce GABA, another neurotransmitter which can help calm you into a deep sleep.
A further advantage of nurturing your gut health - beneficial bacteria in your gut can also lower your stress hormone, cortisol, which interferes with sleep when elevated.
So if healthy sleep with restful nights are elusive for you, tackling gut health may be one key that you’ve been missing.
Some common causes of poor gut health can include a diet and lifestyle including sugar, processed foods, gluten, alcohol, stress, antibiotics and antacids amongst others. If this sounds like you then please reach out for help with supporting your gut health. To learn more about how nutrition can impact your mind and mood consider joining me for my workshop on Brain Food.