The Surprising Connection Between Sleep Deprivation and Diabetes

The epidemic of sleep deprivation in the United States is well-established: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that up to one-third of Americans do not get the minimum-required 7 hours of sleep each night.

This sleep issue has a strong impact on general health. Studies show that people who do not get enough sleep are also more likely to be overweight and to exercise less. It has also been shown that people who do not get enough sleep are at increased risk of diabetes.

The question is whether these two facts are related. Is it the case that lack of sleep leads to a greater risk of becoming overweight and exercising less, and those two factors lead to an increased risk of diabetes? Or is there something about sleep itself which is related to diabetes?

A study published in the journal American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism set out to answer this question. Researchers used two groups of mice that were all had the same diet and exercise habits. One group was allowed a full night’s sleep, while one group’s sleep was interrupted.

Immediately after the sleep intervention, the scientists measured the fat content and glucose levels in the lives of the micer. The results showed that even one bad night’s sleep caused elevated blood glucose levels in the liver, as well as an increase in the liver’s triglyceride levels. The connection between elevated glucose levels and diabetes is obvious, but elevated triglyceride levels are also important, since they are associated with insulin resistance, a feature of type 2 diabetes.

The authors also found changes in liver enzymes associated with metabolism. It is believed that the change in these enzymes may be the root cause for the build-up of fat in the liver, and therefore one of the root causes of insulin resistance.

The take-away message? A good night’s sleep is even more important than we realized.

At Laurel Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center, in Keansburg, NJ, our residents receive the highest quality rehabilitative and skilled nursing care in a homelike and compassionate environment conducive to healing.

Our family-owned and -operated 123-bed facility, is tucked away in the quiet beach town of Keansburg, NJ at the Jersey Shore, within sight of Sandy Hook and the New York City skyline.

Our services include short-term rehab, long-term care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, hospice care, and respite care for those times when the caretaker needs to be taken care of.

We proudly provide the following specialty healthcare services: complex medical care management, intravenous (IV) therapy, wound care, enteral feeding, pain management, oxygen therapy, tracheostomy care, a dedicated pulmonary program, hospice care with private suites, a stroke rehab program, respiratory support, eye care, dental care, podiatry care, and psychological consults and counseling.

We pride ourselves on healing the entire patient through a holistic and individualized approach.

Our meticulous care planning helps us ensure that each and every resident receives the best in clinical care, support and unconditional love.

For over 25 years, we have been a staple of health and wellness, serving the members of our community and partnering with our local hospitals like Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, NJ and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ.

We provide a tailored program of physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as all types of specialized care under one roof.

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