The Link Between Sleep, Mood and Your Stomach

News You Can Use
3 min readMar 25, 2024

By: Dr. Donna Powell & Dr. Renee M. Marchioni Beery

Sleep impacts every aspect of our health, including our mood and digestive system. There is a delicate balance between the three that keeps our bodies working at an optimal level. Making hours of deep, restful sleep one of your top priorities can lead to better gut health, and overall health and wellbeing.

The Link Between Sleep, Our Moods and Gut Health

Getting good quality sleep directly impacts our moods. Lack of sleep can deepen feelings of stress and anxiety, which can also manifest as gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bathroom habits. In turn, stomach aches and discomfort in your gut can keep you awake, tossing and turning in bed, disrupting sleep patterns, and creating a vicious cycle of sleep disturbances and digestive issues. Research also suggests that sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, may contribute to gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

There are simple changes that you can gradually make to your routine to help improve your sleep and your health.

  1. Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps set your body’s internal clock and allows for better sleep quality –so stop hitting snooze on your alarm!
  2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Wind down before bed with calming habits such as reading, meditating, or taking a warm bath. Avoid stimulating activities and screens (e.g., smartphones, computers) that emit blue light, as they can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
  3. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Make sure your bedroom is a calming space to sleep in by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows that support your body’s natural alignment. Earplugs can also help by blocking out sounds that could disrupt your peaceful night’s rest.
  4. Limit Stimulants and Alcohol: Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can disrupt your hormones and sleep cycle, contributing to gastrointestinal discomfort. If you consume any caffeine during the day, stop at least 10 hours before your desired bedtime, this allows the effects to fully wear off before attempting to sleep.
  5. Manage Stress: Practice techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga to help calm your mind and body before sleep. Helping your mind and body feel safe, and reducing cortisol levels before bed can improve your ability to fall asleep and rest more soundly.

By sticking to a consistent sleep schedule and adopting healthy sleep habits, you can transform your mood and digestive health. If you continue to experience persistent sleep disturbances or gastrointestinal issues, don’t hesitate to consult with a gastroenterologist for personalized evaluation and treatment.

For more information on maintaining a healthy gut and overall well-being, contact Gastro MD. Our team of experienced gastroenterologists is dedicated to providing comprehensive digestive health care tailored to your needs.