A new study from researchers at the University of Chicago claims lack of good sleep can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. The research indicates volunteers who were sleep deprived experienced a 25 percent decrease in the insulin sensitivity.

Sarah Taylor is a physical activity coordinator with the Iowa Department of Public Health. She says the study reinforces the idea that sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Most sleep experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.

According to a national poll, 40% of American adults report getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night on weekdays. Taylor says there are many steps you can take to ensure a good night’s sleep. She suggests eating right and getting plenty of exercise, while avoiding caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol.