Lack of sleep linked to diabetes risk

Friday 13th March, 2009

If you’re getting fewer than six hours sleep a night you could be risking diabetes, according to new research from the US.

The study revealed that losing sleep during the working week increases the risk of blood sugar problems leading to the development of abnormalities which are linked to type 2 diabetes.

On average, Brits sleep for seven hours which is the suggested healthy amount but a third of British adults regularly only sleep for five hours or fewer. A lack of sleep, or too much sleep, could affect hormonal changes that alter metabolism and appetite.

Results from the study found that participants sleeping for fewer than six hours a night over a six year period were nearly five times more likely to develop the abnormality called impaired fasting glucose.

Often referred to as pre-diabetes, impaired fasting glucose causes a drop in insulin production raising blood sugar levels above normal in the morning.

A spokesperson for charity Diabetes UK said that sleep duration was a less significant factor to the development of type 2 diabetes than risk factors such as obesity, age or a family history.

Learn more about diabetes here



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