Is There a Link Between Sleep Duration and Diabetes?
When you think about diabetes and the causes of it, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that it involves your diet. It makes sense. Diabetes is a disease involving your blood sugar or glucose. You get glucose from the foods you eat. Glucose needs the hormone insulin to get into your cells to give them energy which is what you need to keep you going. There are different types of diabetes, the most common one being type-2 diabetes, where your body doesn’t make insulin the way it should. When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, your glucose stays in your blood. Having too much or too little sugar in your blood can make you very sick and cause some serious problems.
Diabetes is a disease that millions of Americans are suffering from. A study from the CDC states that more than 100 million people across this country have it. In most circumstances, diabetes is linked to factors such as poor diet, age, genetics, and obesity. What scientists have discovered is that the quality of your sleep is also a factor. Sleep has a powerful connection to metabolism, the way our body uses food for energy, as well as the body’s use of blood sugar and insulin.
Sleep’s Relationship with Diabetes
This is how the relationship between sleep duration and diabetes works. If you are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, it can triggers changes to your hormone levels. The risk of a short sleep cycle is that the body creates less insulin which leads to less being released in the body after you eat. At the same time, your body releases more stress hormones, which helps you stay awake, but makes it difficult for insulin to do its job effectively. This increases your chances of developing type-2 diabetes.
You can see some of the effects occurring when you’re getting between four and a half to six hours of sleep per night. If there is a decrease in deep sleep — which is the sleep stage where your glucose metabolism increases and your energy is restored — the body is deprived of its restorative properties.
If you are getting too little sleep, this can increase your appetite and cause you to crave sugary foods and carbohydrates. Indulging these cravings and overeating can create major issues with your insulin and blood sugar levels, not to mention your body weight. In addition, if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to feel tired and less inclined to exercise. As you know, regular exercise helps with weight management and blood sugar control.
Luckily, if your sleep deprivation lasts only a few days, these effects can be reversed. Your insulin levels can improve with as little as two full nights of sleep averaging about 10 hours per night. But don’t make this a habit, it can quickly become an issue that you will not be able to reverse so easily. Do your best to get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep on a nightly basis so you can reap all the benefits gained from a deep sleep while reducing your risks of diabetes and other health problems.
GMP Medical – Enhancing Your Wellbeing
If you believe your sleeping habits may possibly cause symptoms of diabetes, visit our Hialeah clinic. Our family doctors can assist you in effectively managing the disease. For over 20 years, GMP Medical has been serving the residents of Hialeah, Miami, Doral, Perrine, Cutler Ridge, Coral Gables, South Miami, Pembroke Pines, Miami Lakes, Kendall, and Miami Springs. Give us a call today at (305) 823-2433.