Nothing in your body is an island. Everything works together to inform your overall health and well-being. If you're sleeping poorly, and your stomach is all uncomfortable rumbles and grumbles, you might wonder how sleeping badly impacts your gut health. While gut health can affect your sleep quality, it also works the other way around. "Your gut microbiome has immense influence over your immune system health, brain function, hormone balance, and mood. Your gut has so much control over your bodily functions it’s referred to as the 'second brain,'" Dr. Stevin Lin wrote on his website, The Functional Dentist.
"Your gut and sleep patterns work in an axis — a two-way street of communication. They influence each other in either synergistic or antagonistic cycles. When you’re unaware of this connection, it can lead you in a downward health spiral, which can be confusing because symptoms (such as teeth grinding) seem unrelated to the gut." Who knew these two things were so closely related? "When your circadian rhythm is off it begins to severely affect your quality of sleep. When you experience low quality sleep, your gut health is compromised. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea may disrupt the microbiome," Dr. Lin explained. I had no idea, but let's go down this rabbit hole together — here are some other ways poor sleep affects your gut health.