Not getting adequate sleep is one of the greatest wellbeing concerns for modern-day Brits.
A recent study revealed on average, Brit men and women get less than the recommended eight hours sleep per night.
Research has shown the use of electronic devices including smartphones, iPads and TV, can confuse our body’s internal body clock and make it harder to drift into the land of nod.
Many of us are quick to accept disturbed sleep as inevitable, but experts warn chronic disruption of our circadian rhythm can be detrimental for our health.
Obesity, diabetes and cancer are among the life-threatening health ailments linked to deprived slumber.
These conditions have also been linked to an altered gut microbiome, according to nutritional therapists from Bio-Kult Clare Barnes.
She explained: “Our gut flora appears to fluctuate during the resting and active phases of the day…
“If we disrupt our body’s normal resting and active phases this could potentially cause an altered gut flora, which may lead to the conditions already mentioned.”
Clare advised our diets are one of the key factors impacting the diversity of our gut flora.
She said: “Often, following a poor night’s sleep, an individual will choose high energy foods, such as those high in refined sugar to provide a quick energy boost.
“Generally, harmful bacteria are more likely to feed on these foods in the colon which may lead to an overgrowth of these harmful strains.”
Current research suggests disputed sleep patterns can affect the gut flora, though studies are yet to establish whether the diversity of our gut flora impacts our sleep patterns.
Clare continued: “A human trial in 2015 suggested milt-strain live bacteria supplements may help regulate melatonin production, which naturally increases during the evening and encourages relaxation and sleep.
“Studies have also suggested that live bacteria supplements could help to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, which may therefore help to restore sleep patterns in individuals who suffer from stress and anxiety.”
Lifestyle factors such as maintaining a regular sleep and wake pattern and avoiding stimulants such as coffee and alcohol close to bed time are also advised.
Turning off all Wi-Fi, screens and phones at least 30 minutes before bed time could also be highly effective in improving quality of sleep, Clare said.