Current Sleep Medicine Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 50–57 | Cite as

Sleep and Circadian Alterations and the Gut Microbiome: Associations or Causality?

  • Núria FarréEmail author
  • Marta Torres
  • David Gozal
  • Ramon Farré
Sleep and 3D (Cancer, Cardiovascular, Metabolic Diseases) (D Gozal, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Sleep and 3D (Cancer, Cardiovascular, Metabolic Diseases)


Purpose of Review

This short review is aimed at presenting the most recent literature investigating the potential causal links between alterations in sleep/circadian cycle and changes in the gut microbiota.

Recent Findings

Data in mice and humans indicate that sleep disturbances modify the gut microbiota and that pre/probiotic-induced alterations of the microbiota disrupt sleep architecture. Moreover, data in rodents and preliminary results in humans indicate that by either environmentally altering the light/dark cycle or by genetically modifying the circadian system, alterations in gut microbiota will occur. Furthermore, bidirectional interactions between the circadian and hypoxic response systems have emerged, suggesting that the circadian clock could protect against heart attacks.


Taken together, the current and still scarce cumulative evidence clearly reinforces the concept that improved understanding of the role played by the gut microbiome in sleep diseases may potentially contribute to devising future treatments of sleep disorders via targeted restoration of the microbiota.


Sleep breathing disorders Shift sleep Light/dark cycle Sleep diseases Host-microbiota interaction Gut microbiota pathophysiology 


Funding Information

This work was supported in part by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Instituto de Salud Carlos III; FIS-PI14/00004, FIS-PI14/00280). This work was partially funded by the CERCA Programme of Generalitat de Catalunya. DG is supported by National Institutes of Health grants HL130984 and NS034939 and the Herbert T. Abelson Chair in Pediatrics.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Núria Farré, Marta Torres, David Gozal, and Ramon Farré declare no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Núria Farré
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Marta Torres
    • 4
    • 5
  • David Gozal
    • 6
  • Ramon Farré
    • 5
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Heart Failure Unit, Department of CardiologyHospital del MarBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Heart Diseases Biomedical Research GroupIMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Department of PneumologyHospital Clinic BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.CIBER de Enfermedades RespiratoriasMadridSpain
  6. 6.Section of Pediatric Sleep Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Pritzker School of Medicine, Biological Sciences DivisionThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  7. 7.Unitat Biofísica i Bioenginyeria, Facultat de MedicinaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  8. 8.Institut Investigacions Biomediques August Pi SunyerBarcelonaSpain

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