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August 2022
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Why Sleep Needs the Goldilocks Treatment

Sleep That Isn’t ‘Just Right’ Increases Diabetes Risk

Lack of sleep can endanger your health,  includinging increased diabetes risk.

Lack of sleep can endanger your health, including increased diabetes risk.

It sounds like a study straight out of the timeless nursery rhyme Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where the porridge can’t be too hot or cold, the chair can’t be too big or small and the bed can’t be too spacious or cramped.  It has to be “just right,” or the results can be devastating for your health.

What am I talking about?  Sleep.  How too little or too much of it increases the chances of developing type II diabetes, this according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen.

Sleep is one of those mysterious things in life that we all know we need, but no one really knows why.  Without it, the effects are quite apparent—we don’t perform at our jobs as effectively, our personalities are affected negatively (crabbiness, short-temperedness) and we increase our risk of developing life’s nuisances, like colds, or plagues like expedited aging.

So I suppose it comes as no surprise that sleep also impacts whether one develops diabetes – after all, it seems to impact every other aspect of life.

Before coming to their conclusions, the Danish researchers made sure to take into account contributing factors for developing diabetes, as it’s often predicated on one’s ethnicity, family background, weight and age.  Once those things were given their due attention, they arrived at some fascinating results.

After tracking the sleep pattern behaviors of approximately 280 participants in their study over a six-year period, they found that those who slept more than what was considered “average” were 20 percent more likely to have developed diabetes.  The same percentage was found among those who slept below the “average” amount of time.

What did the researchers classify as “average”?  You guessed it—between seven and eight hours of sleep per night.

This isn’t to say that those who slept the average amount of time didn’t get diabetes, but their rate of developing diabetes was significantly lower, about 7 percent overall.

Despite all the data and the importance placed on sleep in the media and elsewhere, many of us consider it to be something of an afterthought.  After all, with only 24 hours in which to perform our daily tasks, who has time to sleep?  I know I often fall into this line of thinking.

It’s a flawed line of thinking, though.  Study after study shows just how important sleep is, but most of us don’t need to see a study to appreciate sleep’s importance.  We can feel it and we can see it in our diminished performance at work, at home, or at the gym.

To get more sleep, you really need to commit to a routine.  The body enjoys routine, particularly when it comes to quality shuteye.  If you can, try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.  Use your bed for its purpose – sleep – not as a couch for television watching or as a La-Z Boy for snacking.  And don’t underestimate the power of sound when sleeping.  Small things can improve or disturb one’s ability to sleep, like the television (disturb) or, as my mom used to call it, “the sounds of the night” (improve).  Find a noise that’s comforting while sleeping, like the chirping of the peepers if you live in a more rural area, or the pitter-patter of rain if you live in the often rain-soaked Northwest.

Sleep could very well prevent a life spent pricking your finger to test your blood sugar.  But as it pertains to life in general and how the lack of it often causes lashing out at those around us, sleep can prevent us from being hostile to others, not to mention our long term health.

Science Daily

Related Posts

  1. Sleeping Habits Linked to Diabetes Risk, According to Study
  2. Blood Pressures Rising Among Youth: Researchers Believe Lack of Sleep May Be to Blame
  3. Antioxidant Shown to be Effective in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Concludes
  4. Sleeplessness Linked To Even More Health Risks
  5. Obesity Raises Diabetes Risk More Than Inactivity, Study Finds

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