During my 30-days strict AIP, I tracked and paid a huge amount of attention to sleep and how adequate sleep (and/or a lack of) improved my days or made them challenging. The connection between sleep and gut healing is so important that I wanted to share some findings with you.
pssst….if you’re up late reading this and sacrificing sleep time, stop now, shut down your computer and go to bed. You can click HERE to save the post to your Pinterest for later or come back to visit me tomorrow. Seriously, go to sleep.
Sleep and Gut Healing
Have you ever heard of a Bullet Journal? I do a version of one via a personal Healing Bullet Journal. Through this journal, I have learned so much about the things that are/are not working for my body.
One of the most critical patterns I started seeing was around what happens when I get adequate sleep and what happens when I am sleep deprived, along with how much that actually is (because it’s different for everyone). And over the course of the past 2+ months (I started this journal on February 10, 2016, when I started my 2nd round of SIBO antibiotics), my convictions around sleep and gut healing (heck, just sleep and being) are stronger than ever.
Healing Bullet Journal Entries
Here are a few pieces/findings for the nights when I got less than 8 hours of sleep.
Monday, March 28, 2016
- My FitBit told me I got 6 hours and 12 minutes of sleep. I was awake 0 times, restless 7 times.
- That day, I made note -> starving today, too little sleep + should not have worked out (I did 6 rounds of Tabata)
Friday, April 1, 2016
- My FitBit told me I got 7 hours and 5 minutes of sleep. I was awake 1 time, restless 7 times.
- That day, I made note -> stressed, starving and super fatigued
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
- My FitBit told me I got 7 hours and 41 minutes of sleep. I was awake 0 times, restless 3 times.
- That day, I made note -> starving
And here is a comparison to the nights when I got more than 8 hours of sleep.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
- My FitBit told me I got 8 hours and 51 minutes of sleep. I was awake 0 times, restless 2 times.
- That day, I made note -> lovely day plus I worked out 4 rounds of Tabata only and ate an adequate amount, far from too much or like I felt “starving”
Saturday, April 16, 2016
- My FitBit told me I got 9 hours and 5 minutes of sleep. I was awake 0 times, restless 2 times.
- That day, I made note -> much less hungry today than yesterday, sleep is critical, a beautiful day and I felt amazing
How Much Sleep Do We Need?
The National Sleep Foundation says that adults (26 – 64 years) need 7-9 hours of sleep. And while I believe this is a great guideline, it should only act as that, a guideline. (This is also the reason why people get lasting gut-healing results when they work with me. I don’t work off guidelines, I work with people on a very custom, individual basis.)
There is a huge discrepancy between 7-9 hours for most people, depending on your own, unique situation and other lifestyle factors.
I proved it above, but anything less than 8 hours leaves me nearly empty. Truth be told, for me, I have even noticed a difference between 7 hours, 45 minutes and 8 hours, 15 minutes. That extra 30 minutes changes my day.
I have basically become obsessed with understanding sleep (or a lack thereof) and how it affects full gut healing and hormones.
In 8 Scary Signs of Sleep Deprivation, the Huffington Post reports signs such as, “you’re ravenous, you’re weepy and you can’t shake that cold.” Not getting enough sleep can change your genes and interfere with your hormones.
Healing the gut requires so much more than just the food and diet element. In fact, I believe that these other lifestyle elements are my only real last pieces to the puzzle. (Updated in 2018 to add: Yes, these lifestyle elements are the missing link. Read about it HERE.)
My convictions are stronger than ever that honing in on all the things lifestyle are going to see not only me but readers and clients as well to optimal health and wellness.
Learn more about all things gut healing via my 286-page e-book, The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, 3.0.
You will heal. I will help.