(upbeat music) (person snoring) – Stephen King is famous and successful for the way his characters
and his language and his frightening plots draw you in to a heart-pounding horror story, and won’t let you escape. So, maybe “The Stand” isn’t my best choice for bedtime reading, because
good sleep and enough sleep, it turns out, is a very important factor in overall health and in diabetes
management in particular. Scientists continue to find
connections between diabetes and hormones, chemicals in our bodies that send important messages to our brain. It turns out that inadequate sleep disrupts a couple of
very important messages that raise the risk for
diabetes in the first place, and can sabotage diabetes
management efforts for those of us who
already have the disease. Cortisol is sometimes
called the stress hormone, and it plays a critical
role in what’s known as the fight or flight response to threats, the survival response. Cortisol raises blood pressure and increases blood sugar production for heightened awareness
and bursts of energy. But studies show that chronic stress stimulates higher levels of cortisol, even though we’re not threatened. And inadequate sleep
can put us into a state of chronic stress. Those constantly high levels of cortisol also promote insulin resistance, in addition to increasing blood sugar, and higher blood pressure, a bad combination for diabetes management. Inadequate sleep also disrupts the balance between our appetite hormones, stimulating the hunger hormone ghrelin, and depressing the “I’m
full” hormone, leptin. As a result, sleep-deprived
people tend to overeat and crave high-carbohydrate foods, another bad combination
for diabetes management and weight management
too, for that matter. Overall, sleep deprivation
depresses activity in the thinking part of our brain, making us more likely to eat compulsively. And what do you think
chronic exhaustion does to your motivation to exercise? All in all, failing to
get enough quality sleep can wreck even the most dedicated
diabetes management efforts and promote those other health problems, like high blood pressure, that really puts our health at risk. So, are you getting
adequate and quality sleep? For most adults, that
means regularly getting seven to eight hours of
quality sleep each night according to the National
Institute of Health. If you’re not getting enough
sleep, or restful sleep, here are a few tips that will help. First, make sleep a priority. It is extremely important to our health. Apologies to Jay Leno and David Letterman, but there’s nothing there
that will change your life like adequate sleep can. Make sleeping hours regular. Our bodies adjust to patterns. It’s best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every
day, even on weekends. Create the right environment
for quality sleep. Avoid using the bedroom for
work or entertainment like TV. Make the room dark and
as quiet as possible. And, use a comfortable
mattress and pillow. Wind down before bedtime. Avoid big meals late in the
day, strenuous exercise, and reading Stephen King. Try a hot bath or shower to relax. Lastly, get professional
help for real sleep problems. Sleep apnea is often
associated with excess weight, and so it’s common among
people with diabetes, and can be dangerous. Snoring, gasping, long gaps
between breaths, and choking are common signs. Talk with your physician
about sleep apnea. Sleep cycle problems,
including difficulty sleeping, or excess sleeping, can be
signs of depression as well. Depression is more common
among people with diabetes, but depression can be
treated too, so don’t wait. Sleep is a diabetes lifestyle priority that many don’t think about, and many others don’t
pay enough attention to. But the research is clear;
regular, adequate sleep is one more way to better
manage blood glucose and improve our heart health. It’s easy and it’s free. Just make the decision that
your health is more important than whatever keeps you up too late. Now if you’ll excuse me, I
believe I’ll skip “The Stand,” and read a few pages from the Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology. That should do it. I’ll see you in the morning,
thanks for watching. (gentle piano music)