Researchers at Colorado University at Boulder say there may be a link between prebiotics and high-quality sleep.

Prebiotics, not to be confused with probiotics, are found in the non-digestable fibers in fruits and vegetables. Researchers in CU’s Department of Integrative Physiology studied the effects of prebiotic supplements on rats. They found that rats on the prebiotic diet spent more time in non-REM sleep, which is restful and restorative.

“During your stressful times that’s when you need your sleep the most and that’s when your sleep is so messed up,” said Monika Fleshner, a CU Boulder Professor and researcher. “If something like a nutrient like this that you would take along with your multi vitamin would help you buffer that, it would be a great.”

Fleshner says prebiotics are found in foods like apple skins, artichokes, asparagus and chicory root. But to get the full benefit, you would have to eat too much. A prebiotic supplement could deliver a better dose, but Fleshner says it’s still too early to recommend a specific regimen.

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