What does a colonoscopy do and should you have one?
Exercising and eating right will help to keep your colon healthy.
But a colonoscopy every three years for people over 50 helps with detecting nearly 90% of colorectal cancers.
You need to keep tabs on your digestive health, especially if you know people in your family with colon cancer.
How does sleep affect digestion?
Not many people are fully aware of the relationship between sleep and the digestive system.
They don’t realize just how these two different bodily functions interact.
We need to examine what happens to the digestive system while you sleep.
Poor sleep can actually affect your gastrointestinal health and slow it down .
Sleep is imperative because:
It gives the body chance to rest and repair.
It gives the brain time to consolidate new memories.
It increases blood supply to the muscles.
It gives the new tissue time to grow.
The digestive system works to break down food while you sleep
When you sleep, the need for glucose is greatly reduced.
That means both the metabolism and the digestive system gradually slow down.
Sleep gives the body the chance to replenish energy levels which are essential for the digestive system to function properly.
If you don’t have that energy, the digestive system won’t be able to break down your food efficiently.
This will lead to nasty symptoms.
Sleep deprivation can have serious repercussions for your digestive system
Sufferers of inflammatory bowel disorder often experience flare-ups after experiencing a poor night of sleep . And there could be symptoms to blame for this.
Sleep deprivation can cause inflammation. Poor sleep can enhance pro-inflammatory cytokines, resulting in higher amounts of inflammation throughout your body. This will include your joints and muscles as well as the gastrointestinal tract.
Sleep deprivation makes you crave more sugary foods: Because sleep is so essential for healthy energy levels, your body needs more food to help supply you with the fuel you need. The hunger hormone will be elevated after a poor night’s sleep and the levels of leptin, the appetite suppressor, will be reduced. This can cause you to want to binge on unhealthy snacks which definitely will impact your digestive system.
Sleep deprivation can make you stressed: Sleep deprivation can definitely have an impact on your mood. There is no question that it can make you more vulnerable to stress and stress is the enemy of the digestive system. With stress, the fight-or-flight instincts are triggered. This prompts the body to redirect nutrients to organs such as the heart, lungs, and muscles. It will shut down other bodily functions, of which the digestive system is one.
Sleep deprivation affects neurochemicals : Your levels of melatonin should actually increase in the evening. Cortisol should start to peak in the morning. This will allow you to feel refreshed and energized. But sleep deprivation impacts this balance. Serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter, is considered to be essential for how your digestive system functions.
Rest so you can digest
It is always important to consider your digestive health when retiring for the night.
Certain habits and even sleeping positions can have a big impact on your digestive system.
Here are tips to avoid slowing down your digestive system at night.
1) Avoid big meals and heavy snacks before bedtime
Eating anything and binging before sleeping can trigger off acid reflux and heartburn.
2) The position you sleep in matters
If you sleep on your stomach or sleep curled up on your right side, you might want to rethink.
Both are known to have unforeseen consequences for your digestive system.
Generally speaking the best thing for slow digestion is to sleep with your head elevated.
3) Take some time to relax
If you go to bed immediately after eating a big meal and you are stressed as well, you can be assured of a restless night of sleep.
It’s important to make the time leading up to going to sleep as peaceful and restful as you can.
Try and avoid taking stimulants like coffee or using electronic devices. Rather indulge in a hot bath and curl up with a cup of hot chamomile tea.
4) Trust in herbal helpers and natural products to promote digestion
It will be worth your weight in gold to consider a natural remedy. Try those that aim at tackling the symptoms of slow indigestion and feelings of fullness and flatulence.
Not a whole lot of people know how long it takes the body to fully digest food.
And then still follow through with a bowel movement. The body requires daily bowel movements.
For those with slow digestion, it can make them worried and concerned about their general health.
You can boost the speed of your slow digestion by benefiting, perhaps, from stress management and changing your mindset by changing your diet and lifestyle.
Just some simple changes will be able to boost the speed of your digestive system.
Eating whole foods that are high in fiber and packed with health and nutrients will keep your digestive system in good order.
Try and practice the art of mindful eating too and increase your physical activity.
Try and limit the intake of processed, fatty, fast foods.
Now is also a good time to reduce your intake of alcohol and quit smoking.
All of these, and more, can help to speed up your digestion. But isn’t it exciting to know you are probably adding years to your life as well?
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