Insufficient sleep may be linked to increased diabetes risk

Aug 10, 2009

Short sleep times, experienced by many individuals in Westernized societies, may contribute to the development of insulin resistance and reduced glucose tolerance, which in turn may increase the long-term risk of diabetes, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Sleep curtailment is an increasingly common aspect of the Western lifestyle, which is characterized by physical inactivity and overeating. Today, many Americans fewer than six hours each night and individuals who report such short sleep times have in previous studies demonstrated an increased risk of developing diabetes. This new study examined whether reduced sleep duration itself may increase the risk of developing diabetes when combined with physical inactivity and overeating.

Researchers in this study subjected a group of healthy middle-aged men and women to two controlled 14-day periods of sedentary living with free access to food and 5.5 or 8.5 hour bedtimes. When the subjects had their bedtimes decreased from 8.5 hours to 5.5 hours they showed changes in their response to two common sugar tests, which were similar to those seen in people with an increased risk of developing diabetes.

"Our findings raise the possibility that when the unhealthy aspects of the Westernized lifestyle are combined with reduced sleep duration, this might contribute to the increased risk of many overweight and sedentary individuals developing ," said Plamen Penev, MD, PhD, of the University of Chicago and a senior author of the study. "If confirmed by future larger studies, these results would indicate that a healthy lifestyle should include not only healthy eating habits and adequate amounts of physical activity, but also obtaining a sufficient amount of sleep."

Since the conclusions of this study are based on the detailed evaluation of a small group of subjects over a limited period of time under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, Dr. Penev emphasizes that additional intervention studies will be needed to examine the impact of habitual sleep curtailment on human glucose metabolism.

More information: The article, "Exposure to recurrent sleep restriction in the setting of high caloric intake and physical inactivity results in increased and reduced glucose tolerance," will appear in the September 2009 issue of JCEM.

Source: The Endocrine Society (news : web)

Explore further: CDC: Almost everyone needs a flu shot

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Too much or too little sleep increases risk of diabetes

Apr 21, 2009

Researchers at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine have found that people who sleep too much or not enough are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. The risk is 2½ times higher ...

Lack of deep sleep may increase risk of type 2 diabetes

Jan 01, 2008

Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, report researchers at the University of Chicago Medical ...

Sleep restriction reduces heart rate variability

Jun 13, 2007

Chronic sleep restriction has a negative effect on a person's cardiac activity, which may elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, according to a research abstract that will be presented Wednesday at SLEEP ...

Recommended for you

CDC: Almost everyone needs a flu shot

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials on Thursday urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. "It's really unfortunate ...

Can you train your brain to crave healthy foods?

5 hours ago

The mere sight of a slice of gooey chocolate cake, a cheesy pizza, or a sizzling burger can drive us to eat these foods. In terms of evolution we show preference for high calorie foods as they are an important ...

What doctors say to LGBT teens matters

7 hours ago

When doctors speak to teens about sex and LGBT issues, only about 3 percent of them are doing so in a way that encourages LGBT teens to discuss their sexuality, and Purdue University researchers say other doctors can learn ...

User comments : 0