Yet another reason to get your Zs

I’ve spoken many times before about the importance of sleep, but I just read about a study that makes this point more starkly than I’ve seen in a while.

New research published in the journal Diabetologia, shows that insufficient sleep increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers studied 19 healthy males between ages 18 and 30. Each underwent two scenarios. First, they averaged 7.8 hours of sleep for four consecutive nights. Then they averaged 4.3 hours of sleep for four consecutive nights.

The researchers found that sleep restriction resulted in a 15- to 30-percent increase in late-night and early-morning fatty acid levels. These levels usually peak and recede overnight, but here, they remained elevated longer than normal. And, in turn, insulin sensitivity also decreased by about 23 percent following the period of shorter sleep.

In fact, according to the lead author of the study, “insulin action in these healthy young men resembled what we typically see in the early stages of diabetes.”

In other words, just a few days of sleep deprivation can put you on the fast track to diabetes.

This study is one more reason to make getting a good night’s sleep a top priority.

If you have trouble sleeping, the solution may be as simple as making a few tweaks to your environment. Keep TVs, smart phones, tablets, and other electronic devices out of your bedroom. And make sure it’s as dark as possible.

But if that doesn’t help, there may be a bigger problem interfering with your sleep. In fact, in my clinical experience, adrenal gland exhaustion is the most common culprit behind insomnia. For more on this—as well as my recommendations for five natural supplements you can take to help you sleep better—check out the article “The silent enemy that’s stealing your sleep” in the June 2014 issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter. Subscribers can access this issue—and the complete archive—by logging in to the Subscriber area of the website.

You can also read the other articles I’ve written about the benefits of sleep by typing the word “sleep” into the Search function at the top of the page.


“Sleep restriction increases free fatty acids in healthy men,” Diabetologia, epub ahead of print 2/22/15″Link between sleep loss, diabetes explained.” ScienceDaily, 2/19/15