Get More Sleep. Unless You Want to Die Soon.

This little guy has the right idea.
  • This little guy has the right idea.

Dramatic headline? Why, yes. Yes, it is. But it’s also for your own good. CNN Health reports on a new study has just come out which proves—PROVES—that “over the long term, sleep deprivation also increases the risk of serious health problems including obesity and type II diabetes.”

So, basically, your snooze button could be saving your life.

The study, which was published by the Annals of Internal Medicine, was conducted with a relatively small sample size (only seven people were involved) but the results got pretty specific on a cellular level. What the study determined was that “sleep deprivation, the study found, impairs the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin, a hormone that regulates metabolism and is involved in diabetes.”

What’s too little sleep, you ask? Apparently, sleeping four and a half hours is little enough sleep that your body starts to be negatively affected. To which I say, oh, fabulous. Four and a half hours is what I get on a good weekday night. I am clearly on a path of self-destruction. I mean, I already clearly was, but now it’s been scientifically confirmed.

Although the exact relation between lack of sleep and the cellular recognition of distress isn’t one hundred percent clear yet, scientists speculate that “one possibility…is that lack of sleep triggers the body’s stress response, leading to the release of the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, which are associated with insulin resistance.”

More studies will be conducted with larger and more diverse sample populations, but if the results stay consistent with these findings, then there is only one thing that we, as a population, can do to prevent ourselves from becoming obese zombies: sleep more. Spend your lives in bed, everyone, that’s what living is really all about.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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