No matter what kind of health or beauty goals you have, one of the most consistent recommendations from experts across the board is to get more sleep. And the benefits aren’t limited to better skin or feeling slightly more alert in the morning; they also include a lower risk of diabetes and obesity, according to a new study.
The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, looked at the impact of disrupted sleep schedules on 21 men and women who had previously been getting a consistent 10 hours of sleep a night (imagine!). For three weeks, subjects got about 5.5 hours of sleep that varied between day or night, mimicking the sleep patterns of a shift worker. Then, for nine nights, the subjects were allowed to return to their normal sleep patterns. The results went far beyond subjects feeling crappy. Researchers found some fairly alarming immediate changes in subjects’ bodies that can have serious long-term effects:
- Subjects’ metabolic rates declined when on the restricted/disturbed sleep schedule
- Their blood glucose levels spiked higher, indicating that their pancreas wasn’t producing insulin effectively
The evidence is clear that getting enough sleep is important for health, and that sleep should be at night for best effect.
So you have a ton of job demands and you’re not getting a lot of sleep. That gives you less energy for exercise. Similarly, your diet changes. Not only are you hungrier and having cravings for more food, and eating more, but being tired makes it tougher to resist junk food cravings.
So basically: Yes, you need to get more sleep.