The effects of lack of sleep on the digestive system



Getting enough sleep is a guarantee of the body's well-being and protection against health problems; Like heart disease, stress, low body immunity, and sleep quality affect the health of the digestive system, causing many digestive disorders, which we will discuss in the article.

The effects of lack of sleep on the digestive system

Lack of sleep causes a lot of damage to the digestive system or intensifies the symptoms of digestive diseases, as many people with insomnia suffer from digestive problems compared to people who sleep long enough, and sleep deprivation in the digestive system are:

  • Stress: Not getting enough sleep increases the level of stress hormone in the body and causes problems in the absorption of nutrients from the intestines when food and toxins pass into the bloodstream and cause many problems such as bloating, headaches, throat, stomach and food allergy.
  • Effect on food choices and mealtimes: Lack of sleep affects hormones that control hunger, leading to increased appetite and consumption of unhealthy, high-calorie foods, negatively affecting the gut.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A deficiency in the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep and wakefulness, and the movement of food through the digestive system disrupts these processes, which over time leads to gastroesophageal reflux disease. -esophageal .
  • Increased appetite: Lack of sleep is a major risk factor for overweight and obesity; Because sleep affects the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger and fullness.[4]
  • Irritable bowel syndrome: Not getting enough sleep makes a person more tense and grumpy, leading to fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome over time.
  • Increased risk of disease: Sleep deprivation leads to the body's inability to regulate blood sugar and difficulty in producing the hormone insulin, and increases the risk of disease, Such as diabetes and obesity.

❗It is not yet clear if lack of sleep is the cause of digestive problems or vice versa.

Treat digestive problems and lack of sleep.

Getting enough sleep for 7-9 hours a day is the easiest way to avoid the damage of lack of sleep in the digestive system, as well as a set of simple tips and measures that can play a role in this regard, to namely:

  • Stick to a specific sleep routine: This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Assign the bed only for sleeping: Avoid using it for reading, watching TV or eating, and if you don't sleep in 15-20 minutes, you should leave the room and return to bed when you feel sleepy.
  • Create a suitable sleeping environment: adjust the temperature in the bedroom and reduce lights and noise at bedtime.
  • Avoid oversleeping on weekends: instead, take short naps of 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Avoid having large meals in the evening: you should stop eating at least two hours before going to bed, and if you are hungry, you can have a snack.
  • Avoid caffeinated products in the afternoon: the effects of caffeine can last for several hours after consumption.
  • Sun exposure during the day as much as possible: Exposure to light can help regulate periods of sleep and wakefulness.
  • Exercise daily and regularly: The only way to extend your sleep periods is to exercise 3-4 hours before bedtime.


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