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If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep, Your Gut Will Suffer A Lot, Here’s Why

If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep, Your Gut Will Suffer A Lot, Here’s Why

Sleep is a key factor to a healthy lifestyle. Many of us have a tough time falling asleep and have no idea why. Sometimes an uncomfortable gut is what’s making us not be able to fall asleep, but did you know that lack of sleep can cause indigestion? It also causes our mind and body to shut down. When this happens, we start feeling sluggish and irritable. Coffee can’t save us when we reach that point!

Let’s focus on one thing in particular that lack of sleep does to our bodies: it causes indigestion. How can we stop this from happening? Read on to find out ways you can tell if you suffer with this and how to fix it.

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Identifying the problem

There are many reasons why we can’t fall asleep at night. Whether we’re thinking of what we could have done differently throughout the day, dealing with stress and anxiety, or suffering with heartburn. There’s always a reason behind this problem (and more times than not we can’t figure out why this happens). Studies show that if you suffer with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) you’re more prone to staying up all night than someone without it.

When you suffer with IBS, you crave more foods and feel fatigued often. In order for you to feel better, you intake more food than needed which causes you to stay up later at night. Your stomach needs to digest food before you fall asleep and it can be very hard to do this when you eat a lot during the day (and before bed).

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Fixing the problem

Now that you know what’s going on inside of your body, you can take the necessary steps needed to fix the problems. We’ve compiled a list for you to follow in hopes that it benefits you (as much as it did for us)!

Balance your blood sugar

People who suffer with nocturnal hypoglycemia are more prone to be woken up during the night for a snack. How can you prevent this from happening (especially when it’s a medical condition)? Try eating small meals every few hours while avoiding sugary foods and drinks. If you’d like a little more information on how to control your hypoglycemia to get a better night’s sleep, check out this free ebook. It’s filled with recipes that will keep your body (and gut) happy and healthy day and night.

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Drop the midnight-snack

    Image Via: abcnews.go.com

    We get it. Everyone craves chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. However, these sugar foods will keep your mind going throughout the entire night. Not only will they keep you up at night, but they’ll be almost impossible to digest. It usually takes about 6 hours to digest foods (and large meals). If you’re going to eat anything, stick to a handful of almonds. Your gut will thank you for the snack (and will be able to digest the almonds in a quicker amount of time).

    Prop your pillow upright

      Image via: sharperimage.com

      A lot of people that suffer from IBS deal with reflux. You definitely don’t want to fall asleep on your stomach if you deal with IBS and reflux. When you prop your pillow upright, the chances of you suffering from reflux drop astronomically. Sleeping on your side (with your pillows propped upright) is another great way to sleep (if you can’t fall asleep on your back). If you do this, you should alternate from side to side each night.

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      Have a cup of tea and take time to unwind

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        Chamomile tea acts as a mild sedative for sleep, and many people find that it helps reduce their stress! It can also help with nausea and indigestion (which is what we’re talking about in this entire article)! If you take time do drink your tea while journaling (or doing a form of yoga) you will fall asleep much faster.

        What methods will you try to fall asleep faster? What have you done in the past that has helped you? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to share this with friends and family to see what they say!

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        Kayla Blydenburgh

        Freelance Copywriter, Ghostwriter, and Blogger

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        Last Updated on March 25, 2020

        How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

        How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

        When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

        So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

        1. Exercise

        It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

        2. Drink in Moderation

        I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

        3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

        Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

        4. Watch Less Television

        A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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        Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

        5. Eat Less Red Meat

        Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

        If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

        6. Don’t Smoke

        This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

        7. Socialize

        Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

        8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

        Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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        9. Be Optimistic

        Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

        10. Own a Pet

        Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

        11. Drink Coffee

        Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

        12. Eat Less

        Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

        13. Meditate

        Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

        Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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        How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

        14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

        Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

        15. Laugh Often

        Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

        16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

        Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

        17. Cook Your Own Food

        When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

        Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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        18. Eat Mushrooms

        Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

        19. Floss

        Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

        20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

        Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

        Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

        21. Have Sex

        Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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        Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

        Reference

        [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
        [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
        [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
        [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
        [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
        [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
        [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
        [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
        [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
        [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
        [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
        [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
        [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
        [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
        [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
        [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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