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SLEEP: Insulin levels & sleep

You might be doing everything right to avoid insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes – keeping your weight down, exercising, and following a balanced diet, free of added sugars, junk foods, and simple carbs.

But if you’re not getting enough sleep, it may not be doing you a bit of good.

In a recent study, researchers from Leiden University in the Netherlands checked the insulin levels of nine healthy people after eight hours of sleep. In the second phase of the study, the same subjects slept four hours and their insulin levels were checked again. Results showed that just this ONE night of inadequate sleep reduced insulin sensitivity by as much as 25 percent in some subjects.

In the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, the authors note that insulin sensitivity is apparently not fixed. Even in healthy people, a single night of poor sleep can temporarily knock everything out of whack. 

Of course, one night of late-to-bed, early-to-rise won’t prompt type 2 diabetes. But it very well could if that turns into a regular sleep pattern. Last year, a study showed that people who get an average of less then six hours of sleep each night are more than four times more likely to develop blood sugar dysfunction compared to those who average more than six hours per night. 

Researchers at the University of Warwick reviewed 16 sleep studies from various countries, including the U.S., Europe, and East Asia. Two results emerged: 1) Habitual lack of sleep increases risk of premature death by more than 10 percent, and 2) Excessive sleep (an average of more than nine hours each night) is also linked with premature death.

The difference: Too little sleep causes poor health, while too much sleep indicates that a serious health issue (such as hypertension) is already underway. 

For some people, the fix for too little sleep is simple: Take this warning seriously and force yourself to turn off the TV, say “good night” to everyone a little earlier, and get adequate rest every night.

For others, insomnia is a monster that’s hard to tame. 

There are a number of natural sleep-aids that can help ease you into slumber without worrying about waking up with a brain fog hangover from prescription drugs. 

I  recommend five natural sleep-inducers: L-tryptophan, melatonin, valerian root, L-theanine and kava. A very helpful supplement for support for restful sleep & relaxation is Somnolin by Metagenics. Order @ www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com 

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