Probiotic may improve sleep: Study

By Olivia DeSmit

- Last updated on GMT

© Flashpop / Getty Images
© Flashpop / Getty Images

Related tags Sleep Bifidobacterium adolescentis microbiome

Consuming the probiotic Bifidobacterium adolescentis SBT2786 increased sleep duration and reduced fatigue, according to a study, which also reported associations with an improvement in sleepiness upon waking and feelings of being well-rested during the day.

The results “suggested that SBT2786 not only prolongs the duration of sleep but also enhances sleep quality in individuals with high stress levels,” the Japanese researchers wrote in the journal Nutrients​. “In recent years, sleep restfulness, the feeling of restfulness experienced upon waking in the morning, has been suggested to be more important than the length of sleep for maintaining health in adults.”

Prior research shows the potential of gut microbiota to influence the central nervous system. This effect extends to brain function, including sleep. The authors of this study previously published research that B. adolescentis​ had a sleep-promoting effect in fruit flies.

Study details

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial compared outcomes in Japanese men and women between the ages of 30 and 59 who had trouble sleeping and worked Monday to Friday. They were allocated to either a SBT2786 group or a placebo group. The supplement group consumed B. adolescentis​ daily for four weeks as a four-capsule dose that contained a total of 1x10^11 B. adolescentis​ cells. 

Outcomes were assessed using sleep EEG measurement, a sleepiness scale, profile of mood states and visual analog scale. Salivary amylase tested stress levels and blood growth hormone measured sleep status. The visual analog scale was scored in the morning and included a ranking from the best sleep to the worst fatigue.

The EEG showed the supplemented group had a longer total sleep time and an increase in REM sleep time. Another test (Oguri–Shirakawa–Azumi Sleep Inventory ver. MA) showed no significant differences, suggesting the effect of the increase in sleep was not discernible. However, it did find that feeling refreshed versus feeling sleepy upon rising was improved in the supplemented group. The EEG measurements also showed a decrease in wake time for the last two hours of sleep in the group consuming the supplement.

The total mood disturbance scores improved for the supplemented group. Other tests including the blood growth hormone and salivary amylase showed no significant differences.

“Our findings revealed that the consumption of SBT2786 led to an increase in sleep duration, as observed using EEG, an improvement in sleepiness upon waking and during the day, the feeling of being well-rested and a reduction in fatigue upon waking, as assessed by the questionnaires,” the researchers concluded.


Source: Nutrients
2024, 16​(11), 1702; doi: 10.3390/nu16111702
"Bifidobacterium adolescentis​ SBT2786 Improves Sleep Quality in Japanese Adults with Relatively High Levels of Stress: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study"
Authors: Murakami, H. et al.

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