Stressed? Veggies May Help You Sleep
According to a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, prebiotics--indigestible components found in certain vegetables—may reduce sleeplessness caused by stress. About one in three adults don't get enough sleep and for approximately 47 percent of people—stress is a contributing factor.
In this animal study, subjects were fed a standard diet or a diet supplemented with prebiotics for four weeks and their sleep-wake cycles were monitored and measured. After the study period, the mice fed the prebiotic diet showed higher levels of beneficial gut bacteria. Throughout the test, they also experienced longer periods of restorative sleep—non-rapid eye movement sleep than those fed the standard diet. When stress was added, animals fed prebiotics experienced more REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is associated with better stress recovery.
The study showed that a diet high in prebiotics can help regulate the sleep-wake cycle before and after stress and help protect against the adverse effects of stress on sleep. Further research is needed to determine if these results can be duplicated in people.
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