What We’re Reading: Time for Sleep?

If you’ve ever vowed to get to sleep early, only to find yourself falling into bed at half past midnight wondering where all the time went, you’re not alone. For many people, sleep takes a backseat to other, seemingly more pressing matters. But getting adequate, quality sleep isn’t just about having a beauty rest. This week, we’re reading about how sleep deprivation is linked with some very real health effects.

At the AADE Side by Side blog, Molly Rodriguez, Ph.D., R.N., C.D.E., notes that in 1960, the average American was reported to be sleeping approximately eight to nine hours each night. By 1995, this figure had gone down to seven hours per night. Today, roughly 30% of people between 30 and 64 years old report spending only six hours each night asleep.

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According to a study highlighted at “In Diabetes Today,” short sleep times may lead to weight gain. Researchers suspect that this can happen by two mechanisms: More time spent awake leads to an increase in the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin, and it also increases the amount of time available for snacking. As discussed by Debra Manzella, R.N., at About.com: Diabetes, chronic sleep deprivation can also bring about insulin resistance, stressing the pancreas and, eventually, leading to Type 2 diabetes.

If you have made sleep a priority but are having difficulty getting quality sleep, there are techniques that can help. Check out the article “Getting the Sleep You Need” for some tips.

This blog entry was written by Assistant Editor Diane Fennell.