You might not realize it, but our gut (and what’s lurking inside) plays a big role in the quality of our sleep. Connecting our brain to our gut (also known as the second brain), our vagus nerve and millions of other nerves act as a two-lane highway that constantly sends signals to one another – regulating how we feel. Sleep isn’t just isolated in the brain, it’s also heavily controlled by the state of our gut health. For example, 95% of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that promotes well-being and relaxation) and most melatonin (master sleep hormone) is produced inside the gut. When the gut isn’t able to produce sufficient serotonin or melatonin levels, our brain is going to be on alert – not ideal for sleep. If you are finding it hard to get to sleep, stay asleep, or just not feeling like your best self – your gut could be the culprit.
Unfortunately, parasites, pathogens, worms, dysbiosis, leaky gut, and more are a common reason (often undetected) why many are suffering from suboptimal sleep and performance.
About 85% of my clients come back with some form of parasites on the testing we run, and it’s something that at least 70% of the population has been shown to have.
We often think many symptoms of parasite and gut related issues are specific to the gut (gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea), but the less obvious ones can include sleep disturbances, racing mind, fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, food cravings, and more. Some parasites can even make their way up to the brain.
While sleep should be a time for rest and recovery, parasites can turn that recovery period into a stressful one through inflammation and ‘internal fires’ that your body is constantly trying to put out.
When these infections become chronic, they can deplete your body’s ability to produce regenerative hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone, DHEA, thyroid hormone, progesterone, and more. Once these anabolic hormones become depleted, it makes it that much more difficult for us to truly heal.
On top of that are nutritional deficiencies. Even if you are eating a nutritious diet full of healthy foods – these parasites, pathogens, and worms can prevent the proper absorption and assimilation of these nutrients from ever occurring. Not good for a peak performance state.
Furthermore, these internal stressors (in addition to external ones) begin to build up and overflow our stress bucket (aka allostatic load), causing the body to be in a catabolic state that’s constantly breaking down instead of building up.
There’s a lot to break down here – so let’s dive into it.
What Is A Parasite Infection?
A human gut parasite infection is an organism that lives off other organisms. Not only do they rob you of precious nutrients your body needs to produce energy, but they also emit biotoxins that literally ‘poop’ waste and debris causing more internal stress on your body.
In general, there are two kinds of parasites – big ones and small ones.
The big ones are the ones we can typically see, such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, pinworms, and more. However, the smaller ones are where things get a little more interesting and can go unidentified for years. There include Blastocystis hominis, Entamoeba hartmanni, Giardia, Dietamoeba fragilis, Yersinia enterocolitica, Entamoeba hartmanni, Endolimax nana, and more.
These evil little critters can often go undetected by conventional lab testing if they are tested for at all. It can be a frustrating journey for many when they visit their conventional doctor who tells them everything is normal, only to run a more comprehensive gut test and find out they had multiple parasites and internal gut stressors all along. When issues can be addressed on a root cause level rather than a symptom level, that’s where people can see results much faster than they realized.
How Do We Get Gut Parasites?
We often associate catching gut parasites when we travel to vacation destinations like Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic – where sanitization standards may not up to par as home. But the truth is, we can catch parasites from contaminated foods such as undercooked meats, raw fish (sushi), and many others – even from our local grocery store. As well, the water we drink could be contaminated as well. Other reasons for parasite infection could include kissing someone, sexual activity, swimming in pools/lakes, the list goes on.
Parasites Come Awake At Nighttime
Over a 24-hour period, these parasites can be more dormant in the daytime, but start to come awake during nighttime (2-3 am). When they become active, it can create a stress response in your body that increases inflammation, cortisol, and adrenaline – stimulating the body to wake up.
Don’t forget – the majority of our REM sleep (responsible for recovering the mind, learning, and memory) comes in the second half of your total sleep. What does that mean? If you wake up in the middle of the night (one or multiple times), it’s going to significantly reduce the precious REM sleep quality hours we need to ensure our mind is fully restored. If you feel like you have brain fog, mental fatigue, inability to focus, becoming forgetful, or other inconveniences – parasites could be something you may want to investigate.
How Do You Test For A Parasite Infection?
We want to use state-of-the-art comprehensive stool lab testing. These tests are typically much more sensitive compared to the mainstream testing that your conventional doctor or hospital may be running. Here’s a highlighted section of what one of the stool tests I use with clients looks like:
How do You Get Rid of Gut Parasites?
Eradicating parasites has to be done in a systematic way. Try and kill too fast, and you can feel worse and invoke a ‘Herxheimer Reaction’ and reabsorb the toxins from the die-off. Do it too slow and the parasite(s) won’t be entirely gone. I have an upcoming post on my ‘6-Step Eradication Protocol’ where I will explain how to remove parasites in the most effective and efficient way possible. Stay tuned for that.
Killing parasites can be done through conventional medicine (with medication), or more natural approaches (i.e.: herbal protocol). While both work in their own way, antibiotics, and other medications can cause side effects, making some people feel worse (even over the long term). It’s one of the reasons I prefer to do herbal protocols with clients instead, typically lasting 30–60 days before retesting.
Get Tested If You Have An Infection
If you want to test if you have an active parasite or infection, you can get in touch with me directly here: https://app.thesleepconsultant.com/book
The way it works:
- I’ll send the comprehensive stool test kit directly to your front door.
- You take the sample, call FedEx, and they’ll pick it up from your front door.
- Your sample will arrive at the lab within 24 hours. Results will be ready within 2-3 weeks.
- We will go over your results together, and identify potential parasites, dysbiosis, pathogens, and other hidden stressors.
- Based on the results, we’ll design a custom protocol to eradicate and begin the healing process, using tailored support.
- You get better.
Schedule a complimentary 15-minute consult with me here: https://app.thesleepconsultant.com/assessment