According to recent research, sleep is as important for health as diet and exercise. Lack of sleep raises blood sugars and insulin resistance. With enough sleep, our bodies can heal and repair. Without sleep, they get sicker.
Sleep gives our brains time to learn. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, people remember a day or a lesson better if they have a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep can help manage blood sugar, blood pressure, and insulin resistance.
Sleep gives our bodies time to repair. Our immune systems can work better when our muscles, brains, and digestive system aren’t competing with them for resources. So if your blood vessels or your heart or kidneys need healing (which is the case for many of us), you need to sleep.
Sleep deprivation is associated with raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol triggers insulin resistance. Sleep deprivation also lowers levels of the “I’m OK” hormone leptin, which controls appetite. It raises levels of the “eat more” hormone ghrelin. So less sleep leads to more eating and probable weight gain.
Sleep gives us a break from endless mental stress. From a spiritual point of view, sleep may be like meditation — it’s a time when our minds can be free of the world’s stresses and our own craziness. Then we can see life and our place in it better. Studies show that people who get enough sleep can concentrate and focus longer and more effectively. They tend to be more creative and better problem solvers.
With Type 2 diabetes, lack of sleep is a strong predictor for getting the disease. With any type of diabetes, poor sleep seems to raise glucose levels.
Sleep is needed
In today’s society many believe that we don’t need a lot of sleep, but before the invention of the electric light, people normally slept 10 hours each night. Now most believe that a healthy amount of sleep is 7–8 hours, but 30% of Americans get 6 or fewer hours, sometimes a lot fewer.
Stress Free Sleep
In today’s world we are oftentimes wound so tight that getting a good night’s sleep is impossible, however, there are things that we can do to ensure we get a healthy amount of stress free sleep.
People with type 2 diabetes should include good sleep hygiene as part of their plan for managing the condition. Try these tips to help you sleep better:
- Aromatherapy – Use an Aromatherapy Diffuser or place a sachet of lavender under your pillow to help you unwind.
- Deep Breathing – Start by inhaling through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth.
- Eliminate Clutter – clear away distractions like cell phones, laptops, mail, bills and other excess from on top of your night stand – place them inside the drawer or basket.
- Less is More – Keep your bedroom uncluttered, clean and fresh – place a small vase of flowers or pretty clock on the night stand.
- Write out tomorrow’s to-do list before nodding off, then put it away until the next day.
- Have a sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at about the same time, including on weekends, can help your body develop a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
- Prepare your sleep space. Make your bedroom cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable to help get good sleep. Don’t work, eat, or watch TV in bed. Leave all devices and screens out of the bedroom.
- Have Sex. A sex session right before bedtime might be the key to falling and staying asleep. Not just any kind of sex but sex that results in an orgasm.
- No partner at the moment? No problem. Fifty percent of those surveyed stated that masturbating to orgasm before lights out helped them doze off.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. These substances are stimulants and should be avoided, especially in the evening.
- Time your dinner. Don’t go to bed with an empty or full stomach. Eat your dinner early enough to be comfortable and ready to sleep at bedtime, not hungry or dealing with indigestion or frequent trips to the bathroom — all things that can disrupt your sleep.
- Exercise earlier. When it comes to good sleep at night, the best time to exercise is in the morning or before dinner. Physical activity promotes healthy sleep, but stimulating activity just before bedtime can keep you awake.
Let’s Chat > What techniques do you use that helps with getting a restful night’s sleep?