Probiotic foods help ‘seed’ the gut, adding beneficial bacteria, which helps keep ‘bad bacteria’ in check, aids digestion and keeps nutrient absorption humming. But, probiotics are only part of the story. There’s another ‘biotic’ in the gut-supportive mix, namely the less talked about prebiotics. These are plant fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria (like, for example, the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) in the gut – and they are essential to your gut health.
There are any number of belly-based ills that can make life very uncomfortable. Ailments like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS or all of the above can, in addition to making you feel lousy, interfere with your body’s ability to get nutrients to where they’re needed, negatively impact your mental and emotional well-being and set you up for serious health problems down the road. One possible underlying cause of all this unhappiness? SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Trouble is, medical professionals often overlook it or misdiagnose it.
An out-of-rhythm lifestyle can throw off the gut and your sleep. And an out-of-rhythm gut can throw your entire life off-kilter – and screw up your sleep to boot. Conversely, good gut health can facilitate good sleep. So, the better you tend to your gut, the easier it will be to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Beyond just simply being drawn to the sun – its light, its warmth, the everything-will-be-OK vibe it brings – we actually need sunshine. Much like plants which harness the sun's rays through photosynthesis, our bodies use sunlight to help the skin produce the vitamin D it needs to build bones, tame inflammation, boost the immune system and protect against cancer.
The biological laws that govern sleep are more potent than social obligations and work responsibilities, as well as the pharmaceuticals created to override them (we’re looking at you, Ambien). They were written back when our ancestors were living in caves and huts, waking with the sun, eating the plants provided by nature, and resting as darkness fell. Even if our lifestyles are quite different today, our DNA hasn’t changed all that much.