If you’re committed to managing your Diabetes and living a healthy life, consider sleep as Part One of getting fit for your life…
While so many make such a big, complicated deal, out of getting physically fit, It’s not rocket science. And yet, we keep getting it wrong.
The conflict is real…
One “Guru” tells you: “Don’t think of this as a diet, it’s a complete change of lifestyle!”
Another one throws in: “Being fit is something you live, not something you do” for good measure.
Blah, blah, blah.
The truth is that if you only do everything Guru #1 tells you for life, you’ll only be changing what you eat or how you work out. And, while that’s most of the battle, it’s not enough.
Diet and exercise are simple steps to a better lifestyle. If you stop at that, you’ll be selling yourself short.
Good health, longevity, happiness, and weight management are far more than just what you eat and how much you exercise.
It’s necessary to focus on other stuff, too.
If you’re serious about making adjustments or changes to the way you approach your health, start by learning about the relationship between sleep, and your overall well being.
In Parts 2 and 3 of this series, we’ll be talking about the impact of sunlight and stress on your health as well.
Ok, so let’s talk about SLEEP as Part One of getting fit for your life.
- Sleep is restoration time. It’s when your body repairs itself.
Chances are you’re not getting nearly enough of it, are you?
- How often do you get a “good night’s sleep?”
- Do you regularly wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day?
If you’re like most people you’re not getting good, regular sleep. You’re hitting the snooze button several times, fumbling for your coffee fix, and yawning at work.
You’re staying up late with the TV going or you’re taking your laptop, pad or phone to bed.
It wasn’t always like this.
Until about a century ago, the sun went down, people either went to sleep or started getting ready for it. Life would wind down. Candles and fire were too costly to burn all night, every night, so nighttime meant bedtime.
Your genes evolved with an abundance of sleep. They’re not used to artificial lights and TV’s and the Internet keeping us awake and disrupting our natural sleep patterns.
So, when we get poor sleep or not enough of it, bad things happen:
1. Your insulin sensitivity decreases even more than it already is. This reduces our ability to tolerate carbs and burn fat, making it harder to lose weight.
- In the case of optimal insulin sensitivity, after a high sugar meal, insulin rises sharply, pushing the blood sugar into the tissues quickly for energy, then it spreads out.
- In the case of poor insulin sensitivity, however, the level of insulin stays high because it simply cannot force glucose into the tissues of your muscles.
The consequence is that it either causes the pancreas to make more insulin…or you’ll need to inject yourself with more insulin.
2. You’ll have an increased risk of depression
The normal secretion of hormones like testosterone (important for general health) and growth hormone (burns fat and promotes cellular restoration), which usually takes place while we sleep, is interrupted.
- Poor insulin sensitivity also raises blood pressure and increases the risk of developing heart disease, prediabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and obesity.
But thank goodness there’s a flip side…When we do get enough sleep, good things happen:
Fat melts off.
- Our tolerance for carbohydrates increases.
- Exercise performance improves.
- Speed, strength, recovery and response times increase.
- Because our immune system does its best work during sleep, it improves our resistance to viruses and infections.
- Our brains work better. Memory and problem-solving abilities improve.
And that’s just for starters…
Sleep is anything but a waste of time. It’s actually essential. So get enough! (and that means around 6-8 hours for most people) of quality sleep.
Consider sleep as Part 1 of getting fit for your life…
Coming Up In Part 2 of this series: Managing Stress As Part 2 Of Getting Fit For Your Life
Keep On Learning!