24-hour routines ''could increase diabetes''
With the world constantly on standby, the risk of diabetes could
be steadily increasing as people sacrifice sleep for other
Working nightshifts, texting or watching films through the night
or taking red-eye flights and overnight buses to lower travel costs
are becoming commonplace in our society. Sleep has become something
that is willingly sacrificed, but it could be having a major impact
on our health.
There is growing evidence that people who don't get enough regular
sleep may be at risk from health conditions such as diabetes, heart
disease and other health problems.
The TEDMED conference in America was attended by a number of
scientists discussing the major health problems that are affecting
our society. At the top of the agenda was sleep loss, which is
becoming a huge drain on the health care systems. Russell Sanna of
Harvard Medical School's sleep medicine division attended the
conference, saying: "We have a societal conspiracy for sleep
So here are the facts. Research has shown that those who sleep
less than five hours per night are more at risk of developing Type
2 diabetes. The worrying thing about Type 2 diabetes is that it
usually strikes later on in life, which means that those living
sleep-deprived lives may not know about the health consequences
A new study has suggested that sleep problems could extend beyond
Type 2 diabetes. Neuroscientist Orfeu Buxton of Boston's Brigham
and Women's Hospital found that as sleep drops and normal
biological rhythms are disrupted, your body physically changes in
ways that can help set the stage for diabetes.
The message should be quite clear. Prioritising sleep is essential
to living healthier lives for longer. This doesn't just mean
sleeping as much as we can when we can, but implies that we should
set out regular sleep periods where we sleep between seven and nine
Making this an achievable goal is about changing your lifestyle
and making the bedroom a sleep-orientated place. Removing
technology, light, sounds, and making sure your bed is equipped
with a good mattress will improve your long-term health and make
you feel more alive on a day-to-day basis.
Posted by Elizabeth Mewes