Probiotics for better sleep

How to choose probiotics for sleep

Interest in the benefit of probiotics has exploded in recent years. And the potential link between probiotics and sleep is no exception. Certainly, the adverse health effects of sleep deprivation are well established. Therefore, many are now looking to probiotics for better sleep!

Firstly, it’s important to know that not all probiotics are created equal. For example, only certain types, called strains, of probiotics are good for sleep. Be sure to take supplements that are backed by clinical studies.

While more and more of us are taking probiotic supplements for sleep, it’s important to note that research is still growing. Because I’ve experienced the benefit of probiotics for my skin microbiome, I was ready to try this out!

As a result, we’ve looked at what the science says about the best probiotics for sleep so you can see what it’s all about.

To skip the background, CLICK HERE and jump right to our list of what might be the best probiotics for sleep.

To help you choose, we’ll look at 3 important questions when choosing probiotics for better sleep:

Read on to find out more!

The link between the gut microbiome and sleep is a fascinating one. Several studies suggest that your gut microbiome can influence sleep through the gut-brain axis – a powerful connection between your gut and your brain!

We now know it plays a very important role in brain function, digestion, and mood.

In fact, 80-90% of fibres in a major nerve called the vagus nerve are linked to your gut. And this powerful physical link helps your gut communicate with your brain.

Basically, there are several potential ways in which probiotics might contribute to improved sleep:

  • Gut-brain axis communication: Probiotics may influence neurotransmitters such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), molecules which play key roles in regulating mood and sleep
  • Reducing inflammation: Chronic inflammation has been linked to various health issues, including sleep disturbances. Probiotics, by promoting a balanced and healthy gut microbiome, may help reduce inflammation, potentially positively affecting sleep
  • Stress and anxiety reduction: Probiotics may have a role in modulating the body’s response to stress. Chronic stress and anxiety are known contributors to sleep disorders, and by influencing the stress response, probiotics might indirectly support better sleep
  • Regulation of sleep-wake cycles: The gut microbiome, and probiotics, may play a role in regulating circadian rhythms – your internal biological clock that governs sleep-wake cycles.

Surprisingly, some probiotics may influence sleep hormones such as melatonin!

Yet other probiotics may impact stress hormones such as cortisol. Therefore this is an indirect way that probiotics may improve sleep.

Importantly, more research is needed to establish a clear and consistent connection between specific probiotic strains and sleep quality.

Taking probiotics for sleep may be a convenient way to get a more restful night. But, choosing the right type, or strain, of probiotic for better sleep is essential to get the benefits you’re after.

Briefly, probiotic bacteria are labelled with names in three parts; the third part is the specific strain. For example, in Bifidobacterium longum 1714®, the strain is 1714®. Whilst this is fairly specialist knowledge it’s worth noting because different strains may have different effects on your body.

Here are some of the best strains of probiotic for restful sleep:

  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus gasseri
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52
  • Bifidobacterium longum 1714®
  • Bifidobacterium longum Rosell-175
  • Lactobacillus reuteri NK33
  • Bifidobacterium adolescentis NK98

These probiotics may improve sleep quality, according to science. For example: improving overall sleep quality, reducing anxiety, and helping stabilize a healthy gut microbiome.

ZenBiome Sleep
The probiotic supplement Microbiome Lab’s ZenBiome Sleep improved sleep quality and duration in human studies. It contains Bifidobacterium longum 1714®, Lemon Balm and L-theanine.

According to Microbiome Labs: “In a 4-week human trial [Bifidobacterium longum 1714®] reduced perceived stress, improved memory performance and reduced mental fatigue. What’s more, it positively supported brainwave activity, and improved ability to handle occasional stress.”

Gut Powered Night
Holland & Barrett Gut Powered Night Capsules contain 10+ billion live probiotics, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Lactobacillus paracasei. These probiotics are combined with chamomile flower powder, vitamin B6, and magnesium to support better sleep and overall gut health. Holland & Barrett don’t disclose the specific strains used in this product.

However, it’s important to note that while there is promising research on certain probiotics for sleep, the evidence is still emerging. Therefore, do chat with your doctor before taking any probiotic supplements or making significant changes to your diet.

Simple Slumber
BiotiQuest Simple Slumber™ helps the body produce compounds that promote sleep and relaxation. It contains several strains of probiotics for better sleep, including:

  • Bifidobacterium longum which may support sleep and reduce occasional anxiety
  • Lactobacillus plantarum (TBC LP-36™) which may produce a calming compound called GABA
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus which may reduce stress and inflammation, as well as help regulate the sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm)
  • Bacillus subtilis (DE111® by Deerland); this sleep probiotic  produces compounds called ‘bacteriocins’ that aid in keeping the intestines healthy and digestion normal. If the digestive system works efficiently, it’s much easier to find restful sleep.

Are there any specific dietary recommendations or lifestyle changes to supplement the potential benefit of probiotics on sleep?

  1. Eat probiotic-rich foods:
  2. Consume Prebiotic Foods:
    • Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Foods rich in prebiotics include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, and whole grains. Including prebiotics in your diet can support the effectiveness of probiotics.
  3. Maintain a balanced and nutrient-rich diet:
    • Ensure your overall diet is well-balanced and provides essential nutrients. Nutrient deficiencies can impact sleep, so include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to support your overall health and enhance the potential benefits of probiotics.
  4. Manage stress through relaxation techniques:
    • Chronic stress can negatively affect the gut microbiome and disrupt sleep patterns. Incorporate stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or regular exercise to promote a healthier balance in your gut and improve sleep.
  5. Establish a consistent sleep routine:
    • Create a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and may enhance the effectiveness of probiotics in supporting your sleep. Additionally, create a calming bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.

CHECK OUT why kefir is such a popular probiotic food that can give your overall gut health a boost!

Unfortunately, if you suffer from insomnia, there’s limited evidence for the effect of probiotics. On the other hand, if you experience occasional sleeplessness, specific probiotics for sleep might well be worth a try.

In short:

  • Choose the right strain of probiotic for better sleep
  • Look for high quality supplements, backed by evidence
  • Support better sleep with good sleep habits

Personally, I was very pleasantly surprised about the effects of probiotics for improved sleep. Above all, enjoying a good night’s sleep without sleep disruption was bliss!

Alas, there is no magic pill, so do try and practice good sleep habits as well to help you get those ZZZs!

Of course, everyone’s different! Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or lifestyle, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or concerns.

NOTE: This article may contain affiliate links from which we may earn commission


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Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans – PMC (nih.gov)

Effects of Probiotics on Cognitive Reactivity, Mood, and Sleep Quality – PMC (nih.gov)

Best Probiotics for Sleep – Sleep Doctor