Who doesn't love a good night’s sleep? Sleep is critical for brain function, energy, the restoration of our cells, and helps rejuvenate our mood.
It seems like everything is improved after a night of rest.
Unfortunately, many are not getting the appropriate amount of shuteye they need and as a result, they are chronically sleep-deprived which can lead to unhealthy symptoms such as worsened insulin sensitivity.
If you are trying to lose weight or improve your diabetes numbers, then sleep will be very important.
In the October 2012 Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers looked at a small sample of people and found that those who only slept 4.5 hours per night had 30 percent less insulin sensitivity in their fat cells.
Insulin sensitivity is critical for moving glucose into the cells which helps with, among other things, weight loss.
The more sensitive a cell is, the easier it is for insulin to do its job, maintain balance and not gain weight. Unfortunately, as a cell loses its sensitivity it becomes known as insulin resistant which can lead to pre-diabetes, diabetes, elevated insulin levels and fat gain.
Another study examined the relationship to sleep, insulin and adolescents finding that those who averaged 6.4 hours of actual sleep per night had higher levels of insulin resistance compared to those who slept longer.
This information is important as the nation’s obesity epidemic is affecting children and teenagers just as much as it is affecting adults. Quality sleep habits need to start young in order to help with expanding waistlines.
Many people find that they cannot fall asleep, stay asleep or both. Plagued by nightly issues, this leads to other problems such as daytime drowsiness/fatigue, memory issues, attention problems, and changing moods.
There are several sleep habit tips that are important to recognize when it comes to good sleep. While many of these suggestions seem simple, how many of you are actually doing them?
First, go to bed early. Try to re-set your clock to be in bed at a decent hour.
Second, focus on winding down so that your mind is not spinning with everything about your day, or that you need to get done, or what is worrying you.
Third, get off your phone, ipad and computer and do not sleep with those things next to your head with sounds going off through the night.
Fourth, do not eat sugar or drink alcohol before bed as this often causes blood sugar issues through the night causing frequent wake-ups.
Fifth, consider bedtime rituals such as tea that helps with sleep, deep breathing, or five minutes of quiet meditation. Perhaps you might consider journaling, or a snuggle with your animal, partner or child.
Focus on all the positive things that happened in your day so that you end on a happy note.