Big Idea #2 Get More Sleep
…in a 2006 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes who reported shortened periods of sleep or poor sleep quality had higher A1C’s than those who had long, restful slumber.
U.S News & World Report article, January 3, 2008. Lack of Deep Sleep Raises Diabetes Risk
According to the researchers, three nights of interrupted sleep effectively gave people in their 20s the glucose and insulin metabolisms of people three times their age.
Sleep–Here’s The Big Picture
The sleep cycle consists of four stages, going from light to deep sleep and finally REM (Rapid Eye Movement). The sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes. Per SleepDex, “infants spend almost 50% of their time in REM sleep. Adults spend nearly half of sleep time in stage 2, about 20% in REM and the other 30% is divided between the other three stages . ”
So what do you think? Are you sleep deprived?
Test your reaction time at Sheep Dash.
A little trivia: Did you know you can go longer without food and water than you can without sleep?
Why do we sleep?
Researchers don’t have all the answers but some reasons are clear.
- builds the immune system
- allows the body to repair tissues and cells
- allows memories to be reorganized by the brain
The New York Times, presents several interesting opinions in an article, Why Do We Sleep?
Restoration of the sleep cycle can be done by promoting what is called sleep hygiene– good sleep habits.
Good sleep hygiene per David Claman, M.D.
- maintain a regular schedule
- avoid excessive time in bed
- avoid naps
- use your bedroom for sleep and sex ONLY
- don’t watch the clock
- relax before bed
- keep your bedroom relaxing and comfortable
- don’t take your problems to bed with you
- avoid caffeine and alcohol
- don’t exercise within two hours of bedtime
- avoid sleep medications unless absolutely necessary
The USCF Medical Center has even more suggestions for improving your sleep habits;
as does the National Sleep Foundation. Check out their feature articles on Waking America to the Importance of Sleep