Sleep your way to better blood sugar: how deep ZZZs help your health

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Are you confused about why not sleeping well can increase your risk of diabetes? You’re not alone. Scientists didn’t know either. But now, they’re a step closer to understanding.

A group of sleep scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found out something amazing. They discovered that deep sleep at night helps control your body’s sensitivity to a hormone called insulin.

This hormone helps control your blood sugar. Better control of blood sugar is good news for everyone, especially those at risk for diabetes.

The Sleep-Diabetes Connection

Matthew Walker, a professor and senior author of the study, explains it like this: Deep sleep brain waves are like the first domino in a chain reaction.

They start a reaction that goes from the brain, through the heart, to the body’s control of blood sugar.

This is big news. Why? Because we can change our sleep habits. So now, sleep can be used to help treat people with high blood sugar or Type 2 diabetes. And the best part? It’s painless!

More Good News from the Study

But the good news doesn’t stop there. These deep-sleep brain waves can also be used to predict a person’s blood sugar levels the next day.

Better than traditional sleep measurements. This could give doctors a new tool to predict and manage a person’s blood sugar control.

Deep-Sleep Brain Waves and You

Deep-sleep brain waves have been studied before. They’re known to help with learning and memory. But this new research shows that they also play a role in managing blood sugar.

The researchers found this out by looking at sleep data from 600 people. They found that deep-sleep brain waves could predict a person’s blood sugar control the next day.

This was true even after considering factors like age, gender, and sleep quality.

How It All Works

Here’s what they think is happening. When these brain waves are strong and frequent during deep sleep, they switch the body’s nervous system to a calming state. They measured this change using heart rate variability.

The switch to a calmer state of the nervous system then helps the body respond better to insulin. This means the body can better control blood sugar levels.

The Power of Replication

The researchers then repeated the study with a different group of 1,900 people and found the same thing. This made them feel more confident in their findings.

Looking Ahead

This research is a big deal for the future of diabetes treatment. Diabetes treatments can sometimes be hard for patients to stick to.

The same is true for the recommended lifestyle changes, like different eating habits and regular exercise.

But sleep? Sleep is easy for most people. And while sleep alone can’t cure diabetes, it could become a powerful tool in managing blood sugar levels.

The team is hopeful that this research could lead to new treatments to help people better manage their blood sugar while they sleep. That’s a reason for hope.

If you care about sleep, please read studies about the science on 3 traditional bedtime remedies, and this sleep supplement may help prevent memory loss and cognitive decline.

For more information about sleep, please see recent studies about how to sleep to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and results showing scientists find silent sleep danger for smokers.

The study was published in Cell Reports Medicine.

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