Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Diabetes: The alarm clock that wakes you up in the morning
The alarm goes off loudly and stirs my slumber. Anxiously I slap the button and bring the room back to silence. I do this knowing I will fall back asleep only to have the beginning of my day depend upon my back up alarm. Soon enough the alarm attacks and makes its second attempt to get me jump started. Shamefully, it is the third alarm who is the victor. I now arise from the bed knowing this was my last alarm which I have set.
For years I have felt plagued with guilt knowing I start every day with this protocol. However, after reading some of the newest research I find myself not only disburdened but also somewhat health conscious.
Need another reason to fall back asleep?
Within the last decade studies have shown a correlation between type 2 diabetes and sleep deprivation. Since the 1960's, the percentage of the population which obtains <7 hours of sleep a night has more than doubled (15.6%-37.1%). Oddly enough a similar pattern has been observed as well with the populations rise in Type 2 diabetes.
Scientist believes this may be due to a hormone called Leptin. After eating a meal Leptin will be released by our fat cells. Our brain will then receive a message to decrease our appetite. However, people who are sleep deprived will have lower concentrations of Leptin. This lower concentration will spike our appetite and may slowly lead to obesity and eventually diabetes.
But I am young and healthy and don't need to worry.
A correlation between sleep deprivation and a high body mass index (BMI) has been found in children as young as 5 years old. Furthermore, a loss of one hour in sleep amongst adolescents has been deemed as an 80% increase in risk for developing diabetes later on in life. Those numbers are scary when considering adolescents to be highly sleep deprived and the prevalence today of obese children.
So the next time your reach over to shut the alarm off don't feel guilty. You're simply being health conscious. Dr. Wayne Button, BSc, D.C
For more info on this topic check out the following links and videos Health Column, The science of sleep 1The science of sleep 2
Spiegel, K. (2005). Sleep loss: a novel risk factor for insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes Journal of Applied Physiology, 99 (5), 2008-2019 DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00660.2005