Lack of Sleep Boosts Diabetes Risk

Are you tired? You might get diabetes! A new report Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism claims poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and insufficient sleep heightens risk of diabetes:

Dr. Plamen Penev, of the University of Chicago, Illinois, and a senior author of the study and colleagues subjected 11 healthy but sedentary middle-aged men and women to two 14-day periods of sedentary living with free access to food and either 5.5 hours or 8.5 hours of sleep each night.

As nightly sleep times changed from 8.5 to 5.5 hours, the participants went to bed later and got out of bed earlier and, as a result, average sleep duration was reduced by about two hours a day.

When the adults had their bedtimes decreased from a healthy 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.

Go to bed already! Previous studies have linked lack of sleep to weight-gain, getting the common cold and obesity. Now, do you really need to know why sleep is a good idea? Here Dr. Fuhrman explains the importance of getting shuteye:

During sleep, your body removes the buildup of waste in the brain. Sufficient sleep is necessary for the normal function of your nervous and endocrine systems. Most civilizations in human history recognized the value of mid-afternoon naps. The desire for a rest, short sleep, or “siesta” after lunch should not be seen as an abnormal need, but rather a normal one. People who “cover up” their lack of sleep by using drugs (such as caffeine) as food and/or food (such as highly processed, sugary foods) as drugs sometimes claim (even boast) that they can get by with very little sleep. As you begin to live more healthfully, you may quickly recognize that you need more sleep than you previously thought.

Via Reuters.

Image credit: Tambako the Jaguar

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David M. Edwards - October 30, 2009 1:19 PM

Tell me about it. I am an entertainment editor who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 4 years ago. My doctor was perplexed, because she has been my physician for many years, and has never seen anything that indicated I would be a candidate for this disease. Looking at what is otherwise a health lifestyle,( regular exercise, good diet, slim physique ) I refelected on the many late hours (Some as long as 48hrs.) in the edit suite. Often times skipping meals, because of looming deadlines. I can oly assume that this had to be a contributing factor. I have been able to stablize and control my diabetes by eliminating this practice, and have even been able to reduce my HA1C to a 5.7. I am also a celiac, which means that for many years, despite my good diet, my body was not absorbing the nutrients it needed to power my body. Since discovering this fact, I am not only not experiencing the debilitating bouts of illness, but have shed an extra 20 lbs. that had accumulated over the years (by no means fat.). Lack of sleep is definately a contributor in my mind, but I would love to hear your thoughts about Celiac's disease as a possible contributor.

Dave Edwards

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