You probably already know that the main cause of type-2 diabetes is insulin resistance. That means that the cells become resistant to the hormone insulin to the point where it doesn’t work anymore. One of the things that can cause insulin resistance is a diet too high in fat. Another thing is sleep deprivation. But which is worse? A brand new study has made the amazing discovery that just one single night of sleep deprivation causes more insulin resistance than weight gain after six months on a high-fat diet!
Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center hired eight dogs to participate in the study. Before the study started, they measured the insulin resistance in the dogs. Then they deprived the dogs of sleeping for 24 hours and measured their insulin resistance again. It had increased an astonishing 33%.
Then for the next six months they let the dogs sleep all they wanted and gave them a diet high enough in fat that they all gained weight. After the six months, they rechecked their insulin resistance again. This time they found that it increased 21%. The insulin resistance was almost 50% higher after only one day of sleep deprivation than it was from weight gain and a high-fat diet for six months. Amazing! This gives us a very solid understanding of just how important sleep is for preventing and treating diabetes.
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So if you have diabetes, or if your doctor has recently told you that you are pre-diabetic or have insulin resistance, make sure you are getting enough good quality sleep. If you are, great. But if you don’t sleep all that well what can you do?
Well for one, make sure you get to bed early enough. I suggest no later than 10 p.m. Next, make sure to stop all stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, tea, Red Bull, etc. for at least six weeks. Then make sure that your body fat is down to 22% for a woman and 18% for a man. Being overweight often interferes with deep sleep. And, finally, make sure you are exercising every day for 30 minutes. Exercisers always sleep better. For even more ideas of how to sleep better read my book The Type 2 Diabetes Breakthrough. But that’s not all. There’s one more thing you can do.
The reason that so many people who have experienced more than 50 birthdays don’t sleep well is because they have hormone deficiencies. This is especially true for postmenopausal women. And synthetic hormones won’t help. So be sure to get the real thing — bioidentical hormones. One hormone that’s important for both men and women is melatonin. I suggest anywhere from 3 mg to 20 mg about 30 minutes before bedtime. And just to give everything a head start, why not try my sleep formula, a product called Advanced Sleep Formula. It works for many people. Take three capsules about 30 minutes before bed along with some melatonin.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Broussard J. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Poster abstract presentation at: The Obesity Society Annual Meeting at ObesityWeekSM 2015; November 2-6, 2015; Los Angeles, CA. www.obesityweek.com.