Sleep is vital for optimal daily function and overall health. Losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep per day can have long term health consequences for both body weight and metabolism according to a new study.
It's well known that sleep deprivation is associated with obesity and diabetes, but this latest study shows that even a mild sleep debt of only 30 minutes can have a significant effect on your metabolism. This additive sleep dept may lead to insulin and blood sugar disruption, causing a predisposition to (or exacerbation of) type 2 diabetes.
What can you do to get better sleep?
- Avoid long naps during the day, it can disturb the normal pattern of sleep/wake cycle (power naps may be beneficial)
- Avoid stimulants, such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol close to bed time. Alcohol is known to speed the onset of sleep, but it disrupts sleep in the second half of the night as the body metabolizes the alcohol
- Avoid large meals close to bedtime
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine
- Turn off all electronics and turn down lights 2 hours before bed, as these disrupt melatonin production
- Exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are more likely to sleep better (even adding a 10 minute walk improves the likelihood of a good night's rest)