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PLoS One. 2019 Oct 7;14(10):e0222394. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222394. eCollection 2019.

Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale FL, United States of America.
2
Biology Department, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, United States of America.
3
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America.

Abstract

The human gut microbiome can influence health through the brain-gut-microbiome axis. Growing evidence suggests that the gut microbiome can influence sleep quality. Previous studies that have examined sleep deprivation and the human gut microbiome have yielded conflicting results. A recent study found that sleep deprivation leads to changes in gut microbiome composition while a different study found that sleep deprivation does not lead to changes in gut microbiome. Accordingly, the relationship between sleep physiology and the gut microbiome remains unclear. To address this uncertainty, we used actigraphy to quantify sleep measures coupled with gut microbiome sampling to determine how the gut microbiome correlates with various measures of sleep physiology. We measured immune system biomarkers and carried out a neurobehavioral assessment as these variables might modify the relationship between sleep and gut microbiome composition. We found that total microbiome diversity was positively correlated with increased sleep efficiency and total sleep time, and was negatively correlated with wake after sleep onset. We found positive correlations between total microbiome diversity and interleukin-6, a cytokine previously noted for its effects on sleep. Analysis of microbiome composition revealed that within phyla richness of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were positively correlated with sleep efficiency, interleukin-6 concentrations and abstract thinking. Finally, we found that several taxa (Lachnospiraceae, Corynebacterium, and Blautia) were negatively correlated with sleep measures. Our findings initiate linkages between gut microbiome composition, sleep physiology, the immune system and cognition. They may lead to mechanisms to improve sleep through the manipulation of the gut microbiome.

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