Sleep: A Surprisingly Active Time

After a busy day, it’s important to slow down and allow our bodies to recharge. This may mean yoga, meditation, or even a good book and a cup of tea. There’s one recharging ritual we allow have in common, however: sleep.

We call it resting, but sleep is actually quite active. While you’re in dreamland, your body is working hard. Sleep helps your brain forge memories and retain information from the day before. It also gives your body a chance to fight off infections, balance hormones, and heal damage in your body.


Missing sleep matters.

Low quality zzz’s may have both short- and long-term consequences.

In the short term, sleep deprivation can make you feel drowsy, distracted, impatient, and anxious. It can also make you more prone to accidents by increasing your reaction time.

Consistently getting less sleep than you need can put you at risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Your body loses essential time to repair and regulate itself.


How is your gut involved?

If good sleep is eluding you, your gut may have some answers. Several species of bacteria contribute to your body’s supply of sleep-inducing neurotransmitters, molecules that are released by nerve cells and that serve as chemical messengers.  

Two of these neurotransmitters are serotonin and GABA.

Serotonin helps your body create melatonin, which influences the sleep-wake cycle. While most serotonin in your body is manufactured by your own cells, it can also be produced by bacteria in your gut, including Streptococcus and Enterococcus.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that provides calming effects for a restorative sleep by decreasing beta brain waves and increasing alpha brain waves. This amino acid promotes relaxation, reduces anxiety, and encourages deep sleep by decreasing beta brain waves and increasing alpha brain waves. Certain gut microbes – Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus – produce GABA naturally.

Ready to learn about your levels of serotonin- and GABA-producing microbes? Explorer™ can help! You’ll get an inside look at what’s going on in your gut microbiome and receive actionable, research-based insights.

You can start exploring your microbiome now with 50% off our Gut Explorer kits through February 2019. Use the code UNLEASH at checkout. Click here to get your kit today.


If you’ve used Explorer and have a story to tell, we’d love to hear from you! Share your story on social media by tagging @ubiome and #UnleashYourExplorer. You’ll be entered for the chance to win 1 Gut Explorer kit each week during February and for the Grand Prize Drawing: a Gut Explorer time-lapse set.