The new research.
This recent research (2) conducted at the University of Colorado brings new evidence to support these ideas. Tests were conducted on rats split into groups with one group fed regular food and the other fed a diet rich in prebiotics. Various physiological markers including sleeping patterns, and measurements of bioactive compounds from fecal samples were tested before and after stressing.
Results from the rats fed normal food showed increases in metabolites associated with sleep disruption (allopregnanolone precursor and Ketone Steroid) whereas the prebiotic fed rats showed no such increase. Also, the prebiotic fed rats spent more time in REM sleep (a critical stage in sleep for stress recovery) after stressing with the other group showing no such improvement. Taken together these results suggest a diet rich in prebiotics can improve stress resilience and aid better stress relieving sleep.
In the long run this kind of research is extremely helpful for developing non-pharmacological remedies for stress and sleep disorders and fits the general trend improving health through nutrition. As always, a diet rich in vegetables, wholegrains, fermented foods, yoghurts, water kefir and many more will improve gut health and, in turn, brain health thanks to the range of healthy probiotics and prebiotics Many of which we continue to serve on our buffet at Samahita.
The prevalence and association of stress with sleep quality among medical students.
Dietary prebiotics alter novel microbial dependent fecal metabolites that improve sleep