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Dietary prebiotics improve sleep, buffer impacts of stress, says study

New research suggests that prebiotics, which serve as food for good bacteria inside the gut, can also improve sleep and buffer the physiological impacts of stress. In recent years, reams of research papers have shed light on the health benefits of probiotics, the “good bacteria” found in fermented foods and dietary supplements. Now a first-of-its kind study by University of Colorado Boulder scientists suggests that lesser-known gut-health promoters known as prebiotics – which serve as food for good bacteria inside…

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A good night’s sleep begins the moment you get up in the morning

Have you been outside today? Researchers from the Lighting Research Center in New York have found that a good dose of morning light — from either the sun or an artificial source — makes office workers sleep better and feel less stressed and depressed, compared to those subjected to low light. Scientists confirm we need exposure to light during the day that’s between 1000-2000 lux to keep our body clocks ticking over. However, most of us work indoors. A brightly lit room…

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Dim your lights in the evening for a better night’s sleep

Light stimulates alertness. That’s a good thing first thing in the morning, but during the evening it can cause sleep disruption. When darkness descends at the end of the day, the light sensitive cells in our retinas signal our brains that it’s time to prepare for sleep. The pineal gland switches “on” and begins producing melatonin (aka the sleep hormone), which regulates our sleep-wake cycle, slowing metabolic functions and lowering body temperature. This, in turn, makes us sleepy and less…

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