For many people all over the world, not getting enough sleep is not really a problem, who cares if you are tired the whole day, or feel lethargic? Experts say, not getting enough sleep night after night whether it be staying up late or simply working the rotating night shift is a sure cause for type 2 diabetes.
People who cannot get at least 6 hours sleep per night are more likely to get a lot of medical problems such as being overweight and getting diabetes.
As many of you already know, being overweight is a huge risk factor in forming diabetes. Many experts were convinced an unhealthy diet and lack of sleep was to blame for sleep related diabetes. Harvard University recently conducted an experiment with the help of 21 volunteers who all slept in a sleep lab for 6 weeks, the research showed that there was more to missed hours of sleeping than first thought, it plays a more complex and powerful role.
Each volunteer played out a routine that is typical of many; eating, exercise and of course sleeping. Each volunteer was well rested to start out with and had 10 hours each night for the first 6 nights. Over the 3 weeks they then had just 5 hours sleep each per night, which got later and later over the days. This was to mimic the shift rotations of the working person and also extended jet lag for the travellers.
The sleep pattern the volunteers experienced completely threw their bodies off the sleep and wake rhythm, which interfered with the rise and fall of the bodies temperature, blood pressure and many hormones.
As the tests and sleep patterns continued the experts found that after weeks of abnormal sleep the body was not producing enough insulin after eating meals. We need insulin to help absorb sugar (glucose) from the blood stream, as a result of this the blood sugar levels in the volunteers bodies was going haywire, quite a few of the volunteers had blood sugar levels so high, they could of been diagnosed a “pre diabetic”.
The tests also revealed to have slowed down the metabolism within the body, as the diet was a controlled one they did not gain weight. In the first few days of the test if they had eaten the same amount as the end study they would of gained at least 10-12 pounds throughout the year. You are able to see the test result over at sciencemag.org.
Tips For Improving Your Sleep
- Get into a relaxing routine before bed – Getting into a relaxing and soothing routine at least an hour before bed will help you to fall asleep in quick time.
- Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine and Nicotine – Avoiding these substances and chemicals will stop them from getting in the way of your sleep pattern.
- Make your bedroom sleep-inducing – Turning your bedroom into a warm, dark slumber. Close curtains, windows, switch off lights and wear ear plugs if necessary.
- Schedule stressful, demanding tasks early in the daytime – This is to avoid them keeping you up at night worrying about them and worrying about finishing them and getting them done!
- Exercise early – To deplete the cortisol hormone within the body.
- Take a warm bath, before bed – Taking a warm bath before bed always makes everyone drowsy and relaxed.