WELLNESS
12/08/2015 01:03 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Pulling an All-Nighter Is Worse Than Six Months of Unhealthy Eating

By Samuel Blackstone for DETAILS.

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(Getty Images)

Health pieces tend to focus predominately on exercise and diet. Whether it's the best exercises for a rock hard butt, the perfect V-lines, or an explainer on organic foods and the difference between a cage-free egg and free-range egg, the topics are exhaustively covered. But what about sleep, the thing you spend a third of your life doing? Not as much coverage, right? Well, it's probably a lot more important for your health than you think, and researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles have some results to prove it.

In an attempt to study the effect sleep deprivation has on insulin sensitivity, (when your sensitivity is low, your body pumps insulin into your blood, which can spike blood sugar levels and lead to Type 2 Diabetes) when compared to a high-fat diet, researchers measured insulin sensitivity in eight male dogs before, and after, "diet-induced obesity" (AKA a six-month-long high-fat diet). Before the high-fat feeding, the canines were tested for insulin sensitivity, and it was found that one night of sleep deprivation (AKA pulling an all-nighter) reduced insulin sensitivity by 33 percent. For comparison, after the six-month-long high-fat diet, the dogs' sensitivity was reduced by only 21 percent.

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"Our study suggests that one night of total sleep deprivation may be as detrimental to insulin sensitivity as six months on a high-fat diet," said Dr. Josiane Broussard, who directed the study. "This research demonstrates the importance of adequate sleep in maintaining blood sugar levels and reducing risk for metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes."

Sure, you can't out train a bad diet, and you can't get fit without adequate and proper exercise, but even if you're on point with both of those, if you don't get enough sleep, your overall health is suffering.

"It is critical for health practitioners to emphasize the importance of sleep to their patients," said Dr. Caroline M. Apovian, spokesperson for The Obesity Society. "Many patients understand the importance of a balanced diet, but they might not have a clear idea of how critical sleep is to maintaining equilibrium in the body."

Put simply, Netflix is great, but a good night's rest is better.

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