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Sleep Deprivation and Insulin Resistance—Can you sleep your way to better health?

Insomnia reliefHow did you sleep last night? This is a question you should ask yourself every day, because your overall health truly depends on your answer. Sleep deprivation is a growing issue and for a variety of reasons based on misconceptions. Many people believe that sleep is more important for children than adults. Other people believe that functioning on less hours of sleep makes them stronger. Well, you should understand now that sleep is not for the weak—sleep is for the wise.

Some little known facts about Sleep…

When you were young, your parents probably told you that you needed to sleep if you wanted to grow up big and strong. While that is true, you should also realise that sleep is necessary if you want to stay big and strong. Several studies in the U.S. have revealed some little known facts about sleep:
  • Quality of sleep improves when nearby electronic devices are powered off
  • Getting plenty of sleep burns fat
  • Sleep regulates food intake, glucose use, and energy supply
  • Boosts memory, cognition, and immunity

What Sleep Deprivation is all about

Now that you know the very basic benefits of sleep, let’s take a look at how sleep deprivation turns things upside down. Sleep deprivation:
  • Triggers the body to burn muscle
  • Promotes resistance to insulin, leptin, and ghrelin
  • Disrupts thyroid and stress hormone production
  • Compromises brain health, heart health, and immune response
  • Double or triples tumour growth in laboratory animals
These harmful effects on your body only increase with each night you lose sleep. And all these factors work together to escalate your risk of brain disease, heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity, chronic illness, cancer, and premature death.

Obesity in young people—what’s to blame?

While processed foods and drinks loaded with fructose play their role in the current epidemic of childhood obesity, sleep loss may be making this bad situation even worse. Although children and teenagers require more sleep than adults, recent surveys found that young people are among the most sleep deprived individuals. Getting to the root of sleep deprivation in young people poses a challenge. From daily activities and school responsibilities to excessive television viewing and cell phone usage, a lot of things may be keeping your children up at night.

Start Sleeping better tonight!

Needless to say, identifying what keeps you and your family from getting a good night’s rest is essential to improving you and your family’s health. You can ‘Ask a Naturopath’ for guidance along the way as well as try these steps:
  • Each day get direct sunlight exposure for around 30 minutes
  • Each night avoid lights and devices that emit a blue wavelength
  • Keep your bedroom dark and cool while sleeping; if you cannot eliminate all the light from your room, consider sleeping in a sleep mask