How Sleeping Less Can Lead To Diabetes

By: Dipandita Datta

Adequate sleep is as important as having nutritious food when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The way poor lifestyle habits, untimely meals and lack of exercise cause many diseases, lack of enough sleep can also cause serious health problems. Diseases caused due to sleeping less are high blood pressure, heart related issues such as irregular heartbeat, heart failure, stroke and most importantly diabetes.

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In order to understand how sleeping less can lead to diabetes, you should first know what the root cause of diabetes is. The amount of glucose present in the blood stream is totally under the control of insulin hormone. When the human body fails to break down glucose, the cells go short of energy. When there is insufficient insulin production or a state of “insulin resistance”, a person can become diabetic.

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Insulin resistance is often linked with sleep deprived people. It is a pre-diabetic condition which is a similar metabolic condition that happens in sleep deprivation. In such a condition, the cells cannot make use of insulin properly and the sugar levels increase in the body. Insulin resistance is the medical term which clearly explains how sleeping less can lead to diabetes. Apart from diabetes, other severe medical conditions are:

1. Cardiac Related Illnesses

Cardiovascular disorders such as heart diseases & high BP are quite common with people who are deprived of sleep. Lack of sleep for a day is sufficient to increase blood pressure amongst patients with hypertension.

2. Obesity

Another common problem related to sleep deprivation is weight gain. A lot of hormonal activity happens while a person is sleeping. But, if a person sleeps less, the stress hormone cortisol levels will increase and leptin levels decrease ( it is a digestive hormone). Stress and late night food cravings trigger type-2 diabetes. This is how sleeping less can lead to diabetes.

3. Effect On Immune System

There are many chronic diseases caused due to sleeping less; however, this important factor often goes misunderstood. Poor immunity results in many diseases and less sleep can lower the immunity levels.

4. Viral Infections

Less sleep weakens the immune system and the body becomes susceptible to viral infections like cold, flu, fever etc.

5. Poor Sex Life

Stress and increasing tension amongst men and women (especially in those living in the metros ) is responsible for poor libido or a disturbed sex life. This is mainly due to work pressure and sleep deprivation. An unsatisfied married life further increases stress which might result in diabetes.

6. Skin Disorders

The excessive release of cortisol due to less sleep does all the damage. Cortisol breaks down the skin protein-collagen which keeps our skin smooth. Few sleepless nights are enough to give dark circles below your eyes. Chronic sleepless conditions may cause dry skin and wrinkles irrespective of the age.

7. Untimely Eating Habits

Eating food at odd timings is also a bad habit. Our body requires energy at specific times. Apart from gaining weight, untimely eating habits fluctuate the hormone level.

8. Cognitive Disorder

Less sleep can impact the cognitive abilities of a person. Lack of concentration, reasoning ability and poor memory are often noticed.

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Read more about: diabetes, sleep, diseases
Story first published: Saturday, November 21, 2015, 22:03 [IST]
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