Doing This Before Bed Could Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease and Diabetes, New Research Says_freckle removal brisbane

Leah Goggins·4 min read
Middle age hispanic woman sleeping on the bed with a designed background
Middle age hispanic woman sleeping on the bed with a designed background

Adobe Stock / Krakenimages.com

Sleep has a major impact on our health. A good night's rest can be a game-changer for weight loss, inflammation and even your immune system. Now new research from Northwestern University indicates that the space in which you sleep could have an effect on your cardiovascular health and insulin resistance.

Related:What Happens to Your Body When You Get a Good Night's Sleep

According to the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, light exposure during sleep could heighten your risk for heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Ambient light from parted curtains, open blinds or an overhead light or lamp can activate your autonomic nervous system, which cues your heart to beat faster and make you more alert, even as you sleep.

"That's bad," co-lead author Daniela Grimaldi, M.D., Ph.D., explained in a media release. "Usually, your heart rate together with other cardiovascular parameters are lower at night and higher during the day."

The researchers found that when participants were exposed to a lit room, they experienced insulin resistance the next day. Insulin resistance occurs when cells don't respond well to insulin and as a result, those cells can't take in and use glucose for energy as efficiently. Because of this, that excess glucose remains in your bloodstream, causing your blood sugar levels to go up. Having high blood sugar levels overtime can increase your risk for things like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Related:Sleep Might Be the Reason You're Not Losing Weight

And while you probably don't leave on all the lights when you sleep, exposure to artificial light at night is pretty common for some folks. If you live in a city, open blinds may bring in ambient light from street lights, car headlights and other sources. And if you fall asleep with your television or bedside lamp on, you could end up feeling those negative effects. Phyllis Zee, M.D. Ph.D., chief of sleep medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician, shared a few tips for avoiding the negative impact of ambient light in a release from Northwestern.

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