You might not have expected to see sleep as part of a program to help avoid or control Type 2 diabetes, but it has a strong impact on your health. Lack of sleep can not only sap your energy and motivation to stick with a healthy lifestyle plan, but can affect your hormones, actually promoting insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes.
People are generally becoming more sleep-deprived, and it is taking a toll on our health, and our waistlines.
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According to researchers at the University of Chicago in the USA, getting a good night's sleep could be helpful in preventing Type 2 diabetes in relatives of people already diagnosed with diabetes. Results of their study were published in August 2011, in the medical journal Diabetes Care.
The study: Forty-seven healthy people with at least one parent diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes were included in the study. Most of these volunteers were in their twenties and of normal weight. Their sleep and activities were monitored for 13 days. Short sleepers, who averaged 1.5 fewer hours of sleep than those who slept over 6 hours per night, were found:
- to have some degree of insulin resistance, and
- to secrete more insulin than those who had a good night's sleep.
Insulin resistance and secreting high levels of insulin are the hallmarks of Type 2 diabetes. The authors concluded getting a good night's sleep could help relatives of Type 2 diabetics avoid developing this condition.
These suggestions could help to prevent Type 2 diabetes and several other diseases: If getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night is a matter of burning your candle at both ends, consider the benefits of a good night's rest.
Although getting adequate sleep does not guarantee you will not get diabetes, anything that might help is worth the effort. As if that weren't enough...
- getting enough sleep helps to fight depression and make you more alert during the day, plus helping with memory,
- people who get enough sleep tend to have fewer heart attacks and strokes than people who get less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
If sleep deprivation is not deliberate, treating insomnia is often recommended. There are two basic kinds of insomnia:
- primary, in which the insomnia is not associated with any other condition, and
- secondary, in which it is caused by another health problem.
If you have difficulty sleeping because of a problem such as heartburn or arthritis, then don't hesitate to talk to your doctor and seek treatment of the primary health problem. If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up too early with pain or any other obvious health problem causing your insomnia, then have a check-up.
Sometimes depression or anxiety can cause insomnia, or poor health hygiene. Avoid strenuous exercise and over stimulation, such as television, before bedtime. Another suggestion is to skip alcohol, sugary or spicy foods, caffeine or chocolate 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. Alcohol can interfere with normal sleep patterns and sugary or spicy foods can hinder your ability to stay asleep. Caffeine and chocolate can act as stimulants... switch to decaf 8 hours before your anticipated bedtime.
But it's not just the lack of sleep that increases the diabetes risk, it's the quality of sleep you get too. Think about a snoring partner, or children waking you during the night... studies have revealed after three nights of disturbed sleep, insulin sensitivity was decreased in the participants. This change had the same metabolic effect as gaining 20 to 30 pounds (9.1 to 13.6 kilograms). And that was in people without Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.
If you aren't getting enough hours of sleep or suffer from low-quality sleep, work with your doctor to find a few shut-eye solutions.
To discover answers to questions you may be asking yourself about Type 2 Diabetes, click on this link... Natural Diabetes Treatments
Clicking on this link will help you to learn more about Type 2 Diabetes Solutions... Beverleigh Piepers RN... the Diabetes Detective.
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