A study performed by the National Academy of Medicine describes as many as 50 million to 70 million people in the U.S. endure from chronic sleep difficulties, producing daytime drowsiness, poor job and school performance, and a petition of medical dilemmas, including increased possibilities for high blood tension, stroke, and heart attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the loss of sleep is a public health difficulty, with low levels of high-quality, restorative sleep leading to advances in workplace injuries, industrial accidents, and severe auto accidents every day. Moreover, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Absence of Sleep and Metabolism
More recently, researchers have begun to take a closer look at the link between sleep and metabolism – specifically, metabolism-related disorders and diseases like insulin resistance and type II diabetes. The studies have exposed an interesting if somewhat alarming bond among all three that could have far-reaching associations for both short-term and long-term health and even longevity. Moreover, it all seems to stem from glucose homeostasis – the delicate equilibrium among how much glucose is provided by the body and how much is used for energy production. To learn this interrelationship, you have to know a little bit about how the body processes glucose, sometimes described “blood sugar.”
Under regular conditions, the body derives glucose from the foods we consume. Glucose, in turn, is transformed into a useful form of energy by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. The capacity of the body to turn glucose into insulin is related to as glucose tolerance. Usually, an individual’s glucose tolerance which is, their capacity to convert glucose into energy, fluctuates during the day, with higher levels in the morning and moderate levels in the middle of the night when sleep is profound. In fact, it is this natural “glucose cycle” that helps keep glucose levels in check. Since glucose control depends on a regular sleep-wake cycle, it makes sense interruptions in this period would have an impact on glucose tolerance. Moreover, that is the next problem researchers set out to explore.
How glucose levels and diabetes are related to sleep?
In one seminal study, investigators set out to compare glucose levels in people who had a regular sleep and those who were sleep deprived. Both groups of study participants received continuous infusions of glucose to eliminate potential fluctuations that could happen as a result of variations in glucose production. What they located was that people in the sleep-deprived group, blood glucose levels raised far less during the first share of sleep, and the reduction in glucose levels that typically occurs during early morning hours was much steeper between those who had no sleep compared to those who had a regular sleep. In principle, that meant sleep-deprived patients had a “glucose deficit” related to those with healthy sleep. What is more, as the day wore on, glucose levels stayed to be unusual compared to the regular glucose cycle; those in the sleep-deprived group expert higher glucose levels in the afternoon despite the fact their insulin levels continued the same, recommending insulin action be also impaired.
Of course, there’s a difference between being acutely sleep deprived and having chronically poor sleep habits, like disturbed nights or poor quality of sleep. To recreate those experiences, researchers conducted studies using partial sleep deprivation. In one study led by researchers from the University of Chicago, study collaborators were given six successive nights of 4-hour sleep. Then, the same participants had seven subsequent nights of 12-hour dream. All cooperators consumed the same diet during the study phase to produce consistent results. Blood analyses were performed throughout both sessions to measure glucose resilience levels, then the outcomes of both groups were compared.
At the end of the investigation, the researchers found glucose resilience levels were significantly impaired, with sleep deprivation producing low glucose tolerance rates similar to those of people with glucose intolerance and type-2 diabetes. After the full sleep stage of the study, glucose tolerance rates returned to normal. Based on these findings, the researchers resolved that even a single week of poor sleep result in physiological changes associated with the evolution of type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, finally, a second investigation looked at glucose tolerance and insulin resistance in people who snore for short periods of time, people who habitually sleep for less than 6.5 hours per night, differentiating the results with people who slept about eight hours each night.1 The researchers found that while glucose tolerance was comparable in both groups, the short-sleepers secreted about 50% more insulin, causing them much more likely to develop insulin endurance and potentially type 2 diabetes.
Improve Sleep Quality to Reduce Your Risks
The take-home message from these investigations is clear: For people to be able to reduce the risks of insulin endurance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, it is essential to improve your sleep habits. Lots of factors can provide to a lack of sleep and bad quality dream, and the good news is, most of them are changeable:
Diet: When it comes to dreaming, it is not just what you eat, but when you eat that counts. A bedtime snack force sounds fabulous, but if heavy meals can keep you awake and some foods are more probable to cause acid reflux when you are lying down. If you must have a meal, keep it small and simple, and try not to eat right before slipping under the covers.
Conditions: Even a tiny amount of light can trigger a reduction in melatonin, a chemical provided through sleep. Installing heavy curtains and even using a sleep mask can help keep light out, so sleep is longer and more restful. Cooler temperatures are also crucial for a healthy dream.
Sleep apnea: The chronic condition occurs when the tissues at the back of the throat repose and descend into the airway, partially blocking breathing. These little pauses in respiration can happen hundreds of times per night, interfering with deep sleep even though you may not realize it.
Snoring: Although it is a common side effect of apnea, snoring also can be caused by other issues like allergies, sinus problems, and reduced nasal passageways. Plus, snoring does not just affect your sleep – it affects just about anyone else in the proximity as well.
An occasional sleepless night regularly is nothing to worry about, but when lack of sleep enhances to chronic, it can become a serious medical problem that warrants immediate consideration. If you are suffering from a lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep, talk to your doctor. Not only will you feel fabulous, but you can reduce severe medical risks that could become a severe toll on your health and your quality of life.