Best Probiotic For Sleep

Do you struggle with getting a good night's sleep? If so, you're not alone. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one-third of adults in the United States don't get enough sleep on a regular basis. But did you know that probiotics could play a role in helping you get better sleep? In this article, we'll explore the science behind probiotics and sleep, the gut-brain connection, and the best probiotic strains for improved sleep. We'll also cover how to choose the right probiotic for your sleep needs, the best time to take probiotics, and potential side effects to watch out for.

How Probiotics Affect Your Sleep Quality

The human microbiome, or the collection of microorganisms that live in and on our bodies, plays a crucial role in a variety of bodily functions, including digestion, immune function, and even mood. Studies have shown that the gut microbiome also interacts with the central nervous system, which means that it could play a role in sleep regulation.

Researchers have found that certain probiotics can help regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle by increasing the production of sleep-inducing hormones like melatonin and serotonin. These hormones are produced in the gut and are affected by the balance of bacteria in the microbiome.

In addition to regulating sleep-wake cycles, probiotics have also been found to improve the overall quality of sleep. This is because probiotics can reduce inflammation in the body, which can lead to better sleep. Inflammation has been linked to a variety of sleep disorders, including insomnia and sleep apnea.

Furthermore, probiotics have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, which can also improve sleep quality. When the body is stressed, it produces cortisol, a hormone that can interfere with sleep. By reducing stress levels, probiotics can help promote better sleep.

The Science Behind Probiotics and Sleep

A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry found that taking a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium bifidum improved sleep quality in participants with insomnia. The study found that the probiotics helped regulate circadian rhythms, or the body's internal clock that determines when we feel alert and when we feel sleepy.

Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that a combination of Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum improved sleep quality and reduced daytime dysfunction in participants with sleep disturbances.

Probiotics have also been found to have a positive impact on stress levels, which can often be a contributing factor to poor sleep quality. A study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that participants who took a probiotic supplement had lower levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, compared to those who took a placebo.

Furthermore, probiotics have been shown to have a beneficial effect on gut health, which can also impact sleep. A study published in the journal Nutrients found that participants who took a probiotic supplement had improved gut microbiota diversity and reduced inflammation, which can lead to better sleep quality.

Understanding the Gut-Brain Connection for Better Sleep

The gut-brain connection is a complex network of neurons and neurotransmitters that allows the gut and the brain to communicate with each other. The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in this communication, as it can produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that are involved in sleep regulation.

Probiotics can help improve the balance of bacteria in the gut, which in turn can influence the production of these neurotransmitters. This is why probiotics are increasingly being studied for their potential to improve sleep quality.

Top 10 Probiotic Strains for Improved Sleep

If you're interested in trying probiotics to improve your sleep, here are some of the best strains to look for:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Lactobacillus helveticus
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus plantarum

Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They are commonly found in fermented foods and supplements. Research has shown that certain probiotic strains can help improve sleep quality by reducing inflammation, regulating the sleep-wake cycle, and promoting relaxation. However, it's important to note that the effects of probiotics on sleep may vary depending on individual factors such as age, health status, and lifestyle habits. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

How to Choose the Right Probiotic for Your Sleep Needs

When choosing a probiotic supplement, it's important to consider the strain and the dosage. Look for a supplement that contains one or more of the strains listed above, and make sure that the dosage is appropriate for your needs.

You may also want to consider taking a probiotic supplement that includes a prebiotic. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. By taking both a prebiotic and a probiotic, you can help ensure that the beneficial bacteria in your gut have the nutrients they need to thrive.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a probiotic for sleep is the time of day you take it. Some studies suggest that taking a probiotic supplement before bed may help improve sleep quality and duration. This is because certain strains of probiotics, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus, have been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system.

It's also worth noting that probiotics are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Different strains of probiotics may have different effects on the body, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to listen to your body and pay attention to any changes in your sleep patterns or digestive health when starting a new probiotic supplement.

Best Time to Take Probiotics for Optimal Sleep Benefits

The timing of when you take your probiotic supplement can also influence its effectiveness. It's generally recommended to take probiotics on an empty stomach, either first thing in the morning or before bed. This allows the beneficial bacteria to survive the acidic environment of the stomach and reach the intestines, where they can do their work to improve sleep quality.

However, it's important to note that taking probiotics before bed may be more beneficial for those who struggle with sleep issues. This is because the body's natural repair and regeneration processes occur during sleep, and probiotics can aid in this process by promoting a healthy gut microbiome. Additionally, taking probiotics before bed may also help to reduce inflammation and improve digestion, leading to a more restful night's sleep.

Prebiotics vs Probiotics: Which One is Better for Sleep?

While probiotics have been shown to improve sleep quality, prebiotics can also play a role in supporting healthy sleep habits. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that are found in foods like onions, garlic, leeks, and asparagus. They can help feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can in turn help improve sleep quality.

Additionally, prebiotics have been shown to have a positive impact on stress levels, which can also contribute to better sleep. When the gut microbiome is balanced and healthy, it can help regulate the body's stress response, leading to a more relaxed state and better sleep.

It's important to note that both prebiotics and probiotics can be beneficial for overall health and wellness, including sleep. Incorporating a variety of prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods into your diet, such as yogurt, kefir, bananas, and oats, can help support a healthy gut microbiome and improve sleep quality.

The Role of Prebiotics in Supporting Healthy Sleep Habits

Studies have shown that prebiotics can influence the production of neurotransmitters like GABA, which is involved in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. By promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, prebiotics can help increase the production of these neurotransmitters, which can help improve sleep quality.

Combining Probiotics and Melatonin for a Restful Night's Sleep

If you're looking to maximize your sleep benefits, you may want to consider combining probiotics with melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is involved in regulating the body's sleep-wake cycle. By taking a probiotic supplement that contains melatonin, you can help regulate both the gut microbiome and the body's production of this sleep-inducing hormone.

Studies have shown that the gut microbiome plays a crucial role in regulating sleep patterns. A healthy gut microbiome can help improve the quality and duration of sleep. Probiotics, which are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, can help improve the balance of the gut microbiome. By combining probiotics with melatonin, you can potentially improve your sleep quality even further.

How to Incorporate Probiotic-Rich Foods into Your Diet for Better Sleep

In addition to taking a supplement, you can also incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your diet to help promote better sleep. Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha all contain live cultures of beneficial bacteria that can help improve the balance of bacteria in the gut.

Look for fermented foods that are made with live cultures, and avoid foods that have been pasteurized, as this process can kill the beneficial bacteria. By incorporating these foods into your diet regularly, you can help improve the health of your gut microbiome and support better sleep habits.

Another way to incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your diet is by making your own fermented foods at home. This can be a fun and cost-effective way to ensure that you are getting a variety of beneficial bacteria in your diet. Some easy fermented foods to make at home include pickles, salsa, and even sourdough bread.

It's important to note that while probiotic-rich foods can be beneficial for improving sleep, they should not be relied upon as the sole solution for sleep issues. It's important to also prioritize good sleep hygiene habits, such as creating a relaxing bedtime routine and avoiding screens before bed, to support healthy sleep patterns.

Potential Side Effects of Taking Probiotics for Sleep and How to Avoid Them

While probiotics are generally considered safe, some people may experience side effects like bloating, gas, or diarrhea. To avoid these side effects, start with a lower dose and gradually increase it over time. It's also important to choose a quality supplement that has been tested for purity and potency.

If you're pregnant or have a weakened immune system, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking a probiotic supplement. They can help you determine if probiotics are safe for you and recommend an appropriate dosage.

Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a natural way to improve your sleep quality, probiotics may be worth considering. By improving the balance of bacteria in the gut and promoting the production of sleep-inducing hormones, probiotics can help you get a better night's sleep. Just be sure to choose the right strain, dosage, and timing for your needs, and consider incorporating probiotic-rich foods into your diet as well. With time and patience, you may find that probiotics can make a difference in your sleep quality and overall health.

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