Some news out of the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has shed some new light on the connection between sleep and diabetes risk. The study published in the journal showed bad news for men that aren’t getting enough sleep and are sleeping too much.

We already know that impact that sleep can have on a diabetic and getting enough sleep is important for your body. Sleep gives your body the time that it needs to recover from the day and gives it the energy it needs.

Although we know the importance of sleep, the average number of hours that most people sleep is lower than it used to be. In fact, from self-reports, most people are getting up to 2 hours less sleep than they used to.  In the same time, the number of new diabetes cases has also risen. But does less sleep mean more diabetes cases?

diabetes and life insuranceThe study that came out of VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam looked at around 800 healthy participants and researched the relationship between gender, sleep, and glucose. Aside from sleep patterns, they also looked at their activity and tracked movements to account for physical activity impacting glucose levels. They looked at the correlation between risk factors and the amount of sleep each person in the study got. For women, the amount of sleep didn’t really impact insulin responses, but men didn’t have the same results.

The study showed that men who slept less than normal and men who slept more than normal had a lower ability to process sugar.  The “normal” amount of sleep is around 7 hours every night. For anyone that wasn’t getting those 7 hours, either because too much or too little their blood sugar levels were higher than those that were hitting the sleep bull’s-eye.

Because all of the participants in this study were “healthy” and weren’t diabetics, then the results don’t directly apply to those diagnosed with diabetes, but there is still a lot that we can learn. This study reinforces the idea that getting a good night’s sleep is more than just being refreshed at work. Sleep impacts our body in essential ways, especially our ability to process insulin.

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Problems Sleeping?

Around 40 million people in the United States have long-term problems sleeping. Because a lack of sleep can wreck havoc on your body, it’s important that you focus on getting those 7 hours of sleep every night. But if you have problems getting a restful night’s sleep, you could think that it’s impossible. There are a few things that you can do to help you catch those extra Z’s (but not too many).

One of the most common things that people are doing to hinder their sleep is sitting in your pocket. Smartphones are causing people everywhere to toss and turn all night. Instead of laying in bed fiddling around on your phone right before bed, put down the devices at least an hour before bedtime (several hours is actually better).

Do you enjoy a cup of coffee after dinner or have soda with your meal? Those tasty drinks could be keeping you up at night. Instead of loading yourself up with caffeine, opt for a drink that is low in caffeine and enjoy your extra hours of sleep.

Set some mood lighting for your bedroom. It’s not what it sounds, dimming your lights helps tell your body that it’s almost bed time and encourages the productions of melatonin.

Sleep And Diabetes

If you’re a guy and you HAVEN’T been diagnosed with diabetes, then it’s critical that you start getting the sleep that your body needs. Having a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is important, but so is counting enough sheep every night. If you’re a guy WITH diabetes, then you should already know the effects that too little sleep has on your body.