Last Updated on October 26, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff
If you think yoghurt is special, then you’ve got it wrong – it’s all about kefir. This fermented drink, made from cow’s milk, has been around for centuries and was traditionally consumed before bed.
Today, kefir is gaining popularity as a ‘health food’ due to its probiotic content – live bacteria that are beneficial for gut health. Probiotics are thought to promote a healthy digestive system, boost the immune system and even help with weight loss. And probiotics like kefir could even help you sleep better.
Want to know more about kefir? Well, right here we cover everything you need to know about kefir, from its history and health benefits, to how to make it at home and how it impacts your sleep.
Note: This article is informational and does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your doctor or qualified healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment program.
Does Kefir Help With Sleep?
Kefir is a fermented milk drink rich in probiotics and has numerous health benefits. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for our gut health. They help keep our digestive system healthy and boost our immune system.
In terms of sleeping, kefir can actually help improve our sleep quality. This is because probiotics can help regulate our circadian rhythm, our internal body clock that controls when we feel sleepy or awake. Probiotics can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can also impact our sleep.
But each person is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. So, it’s essential to experiment and see what works best for you. For example, if you find that drinking kefir before bed helps you sleep better, continue to do so. But if you don’t notice any difference, there’s no need to force it.
Recommended: The Pros & Cons Of Probiotics At Night
How Much Kefir Should I Drink Before Bed?
There is no set amount of kefir that you should drink before bed. However, starting with a small glass (250ml) is recommended and then increasing or decreasing the amount depending on your tolerance.
It’s also important to remember that kefir is a fermented food containing live bacteria. This means that it can cause bloating and gas in some people, mainly if they are not used to consuming fermented foods. So, starting slowly and increasing the amount gradually over time is essential.
What Are the Health Benefits of Kefir Before Bed?
More and more health bloggers are now talking about the benefits of having kefir before bed; below are some of the benefits:
1. Aids In Digestion
Kefir is packed with probiotics, which are live bacteria and yeasts beneficial for gut health. Probiotics help keep our digestive system healthy and boost our immune system.
Drinking kefir can help to improve our digestion and prevent bloating or gas. This is because the kefir probiotics help break down food and absorb nutrients more efficiently.
2. Boosts Immune System
Kefir is also rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can help to boost our immune system. This is important as a robust immune system can help to protect us from illness and disease.
When your immune system is down, you either sleep whilst coughing and with a runny nose, or can’t sleep because of anxiety about being sick. Kefir consumed at night may help reduce the severity and duration of these symptoms to get the restorative sleep you need.
3. Reduces Stress & Anxiety
Kefir can also help reduce stress and anxiety levels, impacting our sleep. This is because the probiotics in kefir help regulate our mood and reduce inflammation.
If you find that you’re struggling to sleep due to stress or anxiety, then drinking kefir before bed could help you to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
4. Restores The Gut Microbiome
Kefir is also effective in restoring the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome collects all the bacteria that live in our digestive system. These bacteria are essential for many bodily functions, including digestion, immunity and brain function.
Unfortunately, many things can disrupt our gut microbiome, including antibiotics, stress and a poor diet. This can lead to gut dysbiosis, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Kefir is a fermented food, which means that it is packed with beneficial bacteria. This makes it an adequate probiotic food that can help to restore the gut microbiome and improve gut health.
5. Appetite Suppressant
Kefir is also a good appetite suppressant, which can be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. This is because the probiotics in kefir help to regulate our hunger hormones and make us feel fuller for longer.
Focusing on a healthy diet and lifestyle is always essential for weight loss. However, if you’re struggling to control your hunger, drinking kefir before bed could help to reduce your calorie intake and promote weight loss.
6. Constipation Relief
Kefir can also help to relieve constipation. This is because the probiotics in kefir help to increase the motility of the digestive system and make it easier to pass stools.
Plus, we all know that when we have constipation, we can feel bloated and uncomfortable. This can make it challenging to get a good night’s sleep. Drinking kefir before bed can help relieve constipation and improve sleep quality.
Disadvantages Of Kefir Before Bed
There are also some disadvantages of consuming kefir in the evening that you should be aware of:
1. Rich In Calories
Kefir is also a high-calorie food. So if you’re trying to lose weight, you must be careful about how much kefir you consume.
One cup of kefir contains around 150 calories, equivalent to three slices of bread! So, if you’re drinking multiple cups of kefir daily, you’ll consume many extra calories that could hinder your weight loss efforts.
2. It Can Cause Bloating (In Some People)
Even though kefir can help to relieve constipation, it can also cause bloating in some people. This is because the live bacteria in kefir can produce gas as they ferment the sugars in the milk.
If you find that kefir makes you feel bloated, it is best to avoid drinking it before bed. However, you can also try drinking kefir during the day, so your body has time to process the probiotics before you sleep.
3. It Can Make You Feel Nauseous
Some people also find that kefir makes them feel nauseous. This is usually because they drink too much kefir or have sensitive stomachs.
Like any food, our bodies can react negatively if we consume too much. So, if you’re feeling nauseous after drinking kefir, it is best to reduce your intake or stop drinking it altogether.
4. It Could Contain Lactose
Kefir is also made from milk, which means that it contains lactose. Lactose is a type of sugar that can be difficult for our bodies to digest.
If you’re lactose intolerant, drinking kefir could cause bloating, gas and abdominal pain. So, it is best to avoid kefir if you’re lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy products.
Opt for some kefir that has no lactose or dairy in it.
When Should You Not Drink Kefir?
Just like with any food or drink, kefir has the potential to cause some side effects in certain people. If you have a dairy allergy, you should avoid drinking kefir as it contains milk. People who are lactose intolerant may also have trouble digesting kefir, as it still contains some lactose even after the fermentation process.
If you have a history of kidney stones, you should speak to your doctor before adding kefir to your diet. Some studies have shown that kefir may increase the risk of developing kidney stones in people predisposed to them.
Finally, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should check with your doctor before drinking kefir. While there is no evidence that kefir harms pregnant women or their babies, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
What happens if you drink kefir every day?
Drinking kefir every day can have a positive impact on your health. Kefir is packed with nutrients that can boost your immune system, improve your digestion, and even help you lose weight. H
owever, it’s important to remember that kefir is a fermented food, so it’s best to drink it in moderation.
Is kefir better than yoghurt as a bedtime snack?
There is no definitive answer to this question. However, some experts believe that kefir may be more beneficial than yoghurt as a bedtime snack because it contains live and active cultures. These cultures can help to promote healthy gut microbiota, which is essential for good digestion and overall health.
Additionally, kefir is lower in sugar than yoghurt, so that it may be a better option for those watching their sugar intake.
Kefir Before Bed: Final Thoughts
Kefir is a nutritious and delicious fermented milk drink that people of all ages can enjoy. It’s packed with nutrients that can boost your health in various ways, making it an excellent addition to your diet.
If you’re looking for a bedtime snack to help you relax and sleep better, kefir may be a good option. Just be sure to drink it in moderation and choose a lower-sugar variety.