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Sleep and Insulin Resistance: Can You Catch Up On Sleep?

Sleep and Insulin Resistance: Can You Catch Up On Sleep?

Adequate sleep is crucial for our bodies in so many ways. It can help reduce stress, boost immunity, lower blood pressure, help control appetite, improve memory and mood, and help maintain weight. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions.

During the week, many of us cram so much into our days and nights that we don’t get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep. According to the CDC, that’s nearly one third of American adults. Some use the weekend to “catch up” on the sleep our bodies need. But new research indicates it may not be that simple.

According to the findings of the study authored by Kenneth Wright of the University of Colorado Boulder, "The key take-home message from this study is that ad libitum weekend recovery or catch-up sleep does not appear to be an effective countermeasure strategy to reverse sleep-loss-induced disruptions of metabolism." One particularly troubling finding was that insulin sensitivity was affected by lack of sleep, and was not corrected with catch up weekend sleep. Study participants with restricted weeknight sleep had a decrease of 13% in insulin sensitivity. Low insulin sensitivity, or insulin resistance, can be indicative of type 2 diabetes. In some instances, insulin sensitivity worsened after participants had weekend recovery sleep but returned to weeknight restricted sleep.

While these findings are not proof of cause and effect, they do help shed light on how important sleep is for our bodies. Adequate sleep affects our bodies down to the cellular level, including our organs.

Setting a healthy bedtime routine and ensuring adequate sleep are important for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients. Bariatric patients are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and insulin sensitivity due to overweight and obesity. Risk can be reduced through weight loss, improved diet, exercise, and adequate sleep.

Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and weight loss surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and lap band surgery patients often travel to his Boca Raton office from nearby locations like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Coral Springs, but they also travel from Orlando, Jacksonville, and Naples. Dr. Shillingford’s weight loss surgery patients, like many other people trying to lose weight, are often looking for ways to maximize their weight loss and getting enough sleep does seem to contribute to appetite control and weight.