Dietary fiber ameliorates sleep disturbance connected to the gut–brain axis
Circadian rhythms play an important role in maintaining normal physiological and psychological functions of the body, including regulating sleep patterns. External factors such as poor eating habits and work and rest patterns of modern people can disrupt the circadian rhythm, resulting in sleep disorders such as difficulty falling asleep and frequent waking up. The gut flora uses the “gut–brain axis” as a bridge to establish a connection with sleep, mainly including immune pathways, neural pathways, and endocrine pathways. Meanwhile, this article emphasizes that increasing the intake of dietary fiber in the daily dietary structure is beneficial for ameliorating sleep disorders. This is attributed to the metabolism of dietary fiber in the colon, increasing the type and quantity of probiotics and their representative metabolites, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), in the gut. They modulate sleep disorders by significantly improving the damaged gut barrier, stimulating the secretion of sleep cytokines, inhibiting inflammatory pathways, and increasing serotonin secretion. These provide new strategies for improving human sleep disorders from the perspective of the gut microbiota.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Food & Function Review Articles 2022