Researchers from the University of California (UC) Berkeley have discovered that deep sleep plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels, potentially offering new insights into diabetes treatment. By analyzing sleep data from 600 individuals, the researchers found that a stronger and more frequent synchronization of deep sleep brain waves, specifically sleep spindles and slow waves, activated the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to improved blood sugar control the following day. The parasympathetic branch of the nervous system helps calm the body by reducing heart rate and dilating blood vessels. Measurements of heart rate changes confirmed this physiological response. The study also revealed that the enhanced deep sleep pattern increased the body's responsiveness to insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. These findings, published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, suggest that manipulating deep sleep brain waves could potentially help individuals better manage their blood sugar levels and improve treatment for high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. The study highlights the significance of deep sleep brain wave coupling in blood sugar management, surpassing the influence of sleep duration or efficiency alone. The researchers are hopeful that their discoveries could lead to the development of safe technologies capable of modulating deep sleep brain waves for better blood sugar control.
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