Picture: WebSubstance/istock
Picture: WebSubstance/istock

Sleep can be an elusive friend.

Countless studies have attempted to show exactly how much is needed for optimum health, and some people have even gone on as little as three hours of sleep a night.

A recent study by VU University Medical Centre in the Netherlands looked at the relationship between sleep duration, insulin sensitivity and the potential onset of diabetes and heart disease.

The results found that seven hours spent in deep sleep is the perfect amount to maintain reasonable insulin production and glucose levels.

This means that the amount of time spent in bed is probably more than seven hours - more like seven and a half.

Sleeping less than seven hours has been proven to disrupt glucose metabolism in men and women.

A stable glucose level contributes to weight control, and if it is disrupted, could lead to weight gain, and the early onset of diabetes.

So how do Britons fare?

The Royal Society of Public Health issued a report earlier this year which found that people in the UK get an average of 6.8 hours of sleep a night.

Although the national average may not seem too far off the seven-hour mark, the long term effects of slow sleep deprivation may still be making its mark.

There are over 3.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK – more than triple the amount since 1996 – and year on year obesity is on the rise.

While there may be other factors - such as an increase of fat and sugar in our diet - the statistics demonstrate a worrying trend, and not getting enough sleep is contributing towards it.

Simply put? Put in those hours.

HT Psychology Today

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)