New research carried out by Monika Fleshner at University of California (Boulder) shows that probiotics might reduce stress related insomnia.
Prebiotics are dietary fibers naturally found in Chicory, artichokes, raw garlic, leeks, cabbage and onions. They serve as the main food for the guts healthy bacterias the probiotics, and science suggests that adding prebiotics is much more efficient in restoring a healthy gut
micro biome then adding the probiotics itself.
Fleshner’s study was carried out on 3 week old male rats that was fed chow with or without probiotics.
The study found that the rats fed a prebiotic diet spend more time in NREM sleep which is the restorative sleep cycle, compared to the rats on a non prebiotic diet. This pattern was also found after exposing the rats to stress.
The study concludes that it’s still to early to say that probiotics should be a recommended supplement as a sleep aid and that we need to conduct more studies.
From a personal point of view, I say that the findings are extremely interesting. We know already that stress distorts the gut micro biome, and as such it makes sense for stressed people to digest prebiotics. We also know that keeping a healthy micro biome in the gut helps to lower chronic inflammation, and that stress induces inflammation. So there’s a lot of the findings in this study that makes sense – and taking prebiotics together with saffron ( which we have covered in a number of articles on this blog) might actually be a really good choice to combat stress related insomnia.