While the vagus nerve has become something of a buzzword in the wellness sphere, its exact role in the body isn't common knowledge. In an effort to better understand how the vagus nerve works, Glam turned to Dr. LS Wang. "The vagus nerve is a key part of your parasympathetic 'rest and digest' nervous system," Dr. Wang told Glam in our exclusive chat. "It influences your breathing, digestive function, and heart rate, all of which can impact your ability to relax and sleep."
So, there you have it: The vagus nerve is involved in myriad functions throughout the body, from elevated stress responses to mucus and saliva production (via the Cleveland Clinic). What's more, understanding the anatomy of the vagus nerve can help you understand its multifaceted nature. As the body's longest-running cranial nerve, the vagus nerve starts in the brain and ends in the large intestine, affecting numerous systems in the body. And with more attention being directed to the importance of the brain-gut connection, as exemplified by research published by PLOS One, the vagus nerve may be a potential key player in improving one's sleep quality.