(NaturalNews) Nearly one-third of adults in the United States report they sleep less than seven hours every night. Sleep disorders are becoming increasingly common. We all know that a night of restless sleep can make us tired and unfocused the next day. But did you know it can also make you insulin resistant? Sleep has a substantial impact on metabolic health, and now research confirms that sleep plays an important role in your insulin response.
Sleep and Insulin Resistance
Only a few nights of sleep depravity can result in a significant change in your metabolic response to food. A study that deprived participants from deep sleep showed that eight out of nine participants developed markers of insulin resistance after just three nights.
The interesting thing is that study participants were healthy individuals in their twenties. The young and healthy are paving the way for health problems later in life if they think they can get away with sleepless nights because of their age.
Another study found similar results. In Boston, researchers studied twenty healthy men between the ages of 20 and 35, and discovered that one week of compromised sleep reduced insulin sensitivity by a mean of 20 percent.
Sleep and Metabolic Health
The link between sleep and metabolic health is becoming stronger. Sleep is greatly influenced by our metabolic health, and now we are learning that metabolic health is also directly influenced by the quality of our sleep. This can result in a vicious cycle of sleep depravity and metabolic disorders if a conscious effort is not made to eat and live in a way that supports both healthy sleep and metabolic balance.
Insulin Resistance: Beyond What You Eat
The most common school of thought is that insulin resistance (and therefore metabolic disease) depends mostly on what you eat. While diet is certainly a major contributing factor in metabolic health, other factors like sleep and exercise play a significant role that can`t be ignored. To maintain or regain our metabolic health, it`s important to address all areas of our health. And sleep should definitely be near the top of the list of what is most vital.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...