Getting enough sleep (8 h) every night is from essential importance to our health. Part ‘every night’ is important part because are body was made to sleep during the night according circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm affects so many areas of your health. In addition to sleep-wake cycles, circadian rhythms also regulate hormones that affect metabolism, appetite, insulin, and blood glucose. When circadian rhythm is out of sync, the body’s metabolic health can decline and a risk for diabetes can increase.
Increased risk for diabetes
One of the most serious health consequences that come from sleep deprivation is a significantly increased risk for diabetes type 2. This mechanism lays beyond interrupting hormonal balance which further affects metabolism of glucose which can lead to weight gain and obesity. Obesity brings new potential health issues. As you can see, it is magical circle and it seems that never ends. Sleeping improves ability of the body to produce insulin and regulate level of glucose in blood. Interesting fact is that one night of sleep deprivation makes damage to our body equals as one week of eating junk food (believe or not). Several large studies had shown that people who don’t get enough of sleep are in a high risk of getting diabetes type 2.
How our body work?
Let’s take a closer look how this problem works?! Our body produces insulin. Insulin is hormone produced by pancreas. Insulin roll is to ‘push’ glucose from the blood stream into the cells, so it can be used as energy fuel. This is how insulin regulates blood sugar level. If that doesn’t happen level of glucose in blood stream stays high, body produces even more insulin because of high blood sugar. Over time, this can lead to diabetes type 2. This is the key point in the difference between diabetes type 2 and diabetes type 1. In type 1 diabetes, body can’t produce insulin while in type 2 diabetes body can’t use it on a right way.
What science say?
Late research has shown that producing insulin operates in circles depending from circadian rhythm and sleeping (like many other hormones). If sleeping is disrupted circadian rhythm is messed, insulin production as well which affects level of glucose in blood stream.
Lack of sleeping affects our body on cellular level – our cells are not able to recover. Pancreas cells are like any other cells in body – need to recover, so sleep deprivation can affects their function. Scheme is simple: less sleep leads to more stress which leads to deprived function.
As I have mentioned earlier in the text, producing of other hormones are also affected from sleep deprivation. Level of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and testosterone is lower, which can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity and higher blood glucose. Leptin (hormone that helps maintaining energy balance through appetite regulation) is low which lowers metabolism.
Sleep deprivation makes us less active because we feel tired and not in the mood for physical activity. Lack of sleep creates craving for high-fat and high-sugar food. Sleep disruption can make us eat at wrong timings etc.
As you can see, sleep has a strong influence over exercise habits, appetite, eating habits and hormonal balance that regulate hunger and the feeling of fullness. In all these ways, sleep plays a powerful role in risks for diabetes type 2, obesity, high blood pressure …
Think about how much sleep you get every day? Is that enough? If not, it’s time to work on it!
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