We all have stresses in our lives. These stresses range from our daily work to financial situations and can often haunt us while trying to rest at night. More and more each year, Americans are becoming sleep deprived, and the effects are much greater than a yawn throughout the day.
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to many health conditions, including an increased risk of developing diabetes. When the body does not get adequate sleep, the reaction can resemble insulin resistance, a precursor for diabetes*. Insulin resistance leads to high blood sugar levels, which can build up in the body and cause harm to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, or heart. Inadequate sleep can make us feel fatigued, which leads us to search for energy through food. We have a harder time making decisions when sleep deprived and we are tempted to consume more than we need to- not a good combination.
Quality of sleep can be improved with few simple strategies. Dr. Carolyn Dunn of NC State University shares strategies to improve sleep and how to make it a priority for our overall health. The webinar recording can be found here.
The Eat Smart, Move More, Weight Less Pinterest page has a Sleep Board dedicated solely to tips, recipes, and stretches to help you sleep. Many of the recipes are incredibly simple. One is called Banana Peel Sleepy Tea. To make the tea, just save your banana peels, boil them in hot water for 10 minutes, and add a dash of cinnamon! The tea is not only tasty, but very relaxing.
*Mann, D. 2005. The Sleep-Diabetes Connection: Not sleeping? Check your blood sugar levels. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/diabetes-lack-of-sleep#1