Poor Sleep Habits Can Lead to Insulin ResistanceHealthy patterns of sleep cause longevity and general well-being especially in cases where regular sleep between seven and eight hours a night are common. Now there is further research which backs up these well accepted truths on the benefits of sleep by getting specific with specific sleep patterns and their association with type-2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
Insulin ResistanceResearchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center found that "suppressing deep sleep for just three nights causes a 25 percent drop in insulin sensitivity. The researchers say that the decrease in insulin sensitivity after three nights of bad sleep is equivalent to gaining 20 to 30 pounds." Increased insulin resistance can also lead to increased insulin production which can cause type-2 diabetes.
Best Life magazine also went on to add the following:
Routinely missing out on a few nights of good sleep increases your risk for type-2 diabetes. Deep, restorative sleep, also called slow-wave sleep, is important for regulating blood sugar.There are other methods to keep your insulin levels in check such as eating leafy greens and doing high intensity exercise, and in my opinion if all three are done in tandem (including sleeping at least seven hours) then you should be off to a pretty good start.
While there’s no surefire indicator that you’re getting enough slow-wave sleep, it’s a good sign if you’re sleeping at least seven hours a night, you wake up feeling refreshed, and you don’t suffer from sleep apnea or daytime fatigue.
Update: I've recently written an expanded post on this same topic titled 11 ways to reduce insulin resistance. If this topic resonates with you I'd encourage reading it and possibly this even more recent post on following a better insulin resistance diet.
Additional Dangers of Poor Sleep HabitsFurthermore, getting poor sleep because of restless leg syndrome has also been known to increase the risks associated with cardiovascular disease while generally poor sleep habits and even basic immune function leaving you prone to sickness and catching the common cold in particular. Sleep is an integral part of staying healthy and promoting longevity… and who can argue against the feel-good comfort of relaxing under the covers.
Best Life, Apr. 2008