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Your poor sleep is aging you prematurely
January 27, 2014

sleeping babyRemember the last time you woke up in the morning, completely rested and ready to tackle the day?

If not, researchers are saying that your lack of sleep might contribute to the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Not exactly happy news for the morning.

Researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center found in a recent study that poor sleep had the same effect on young adults as gaining 20 to 30 pounds. Your poor sleep is disruptive to how your body metabolizes glucose, significantly increasing your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

What kind of sleep deprivation was studied? Not full-on insomnia, not those nights you spend sitting on the couch, flipping channels or powering through a marathon of old sitcoms on Netflix and hoping you drift off before the credits roll again.

No, the study participants were actually asleep - just not deeply. In the study, participants went to bed and fell asleep, but a system of speakers set up in the room played subtle noises that kept them from falling into a deep, healthy sleep. Doctors leading the study likened it to giving participants in their 20s the quality of sleep someone might get in their 60s.

In a column for the Huffington Post, Dr. Michael J. Breus, who calls himself “The Sleep Doctor,” wrote that “this research may present a significant development in our understanding of at least one way that sleep deprivation can influence the development of diabetes, and how this risk becomes more serious we age.” As we age, our bodies become more prone to problems with how our cells function. Lack of sleep, Dr. Breus writes, exacerbates this problem - perhaps considerably.

So what are some ways you can get better, deeper sleep?

  • Relax your mind - Going to bed with a head full of worries will keep you up, or keep you tossing and turning.

  • Make sure you’re tired - Go for a run, hit the gym, move some furniture, clean your house or apartment, just wear yourself out so that when you hit the hay, you’re ready for rest.

  • Turn down the lights - Don’t watch TV or read from a laptop or tablet for a while before bed, try to ease yourself into the darkness

  • Switch to decaf - Sure, there are plenty of benefits to that cup o’ joe (or six) that you indulge in every day, but caffeine can keep you wired up when you want to be winding down.

For more tips, click here.

So take that advice, and sweet dreams.


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