Lack Of Sleep Can Contribute To Diabetes Risk
Have you ever noticed that your appetite, particularly for sweets and comfort foods, increases when you haven't had enough sleep? Well, new research suggests that lack of sleep may be another risk factor for diabetes, in addition to unhealthy eating habits and sedentary life styles.
The research, conducted at the University of Chicago and supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, focused on whether sleep curtailment itself would increase the risk of developing diabetes when combined with a lifestyle of inactivity and overeating.
Subjects for the study were healthy middle-aged men and women divided into two control groups. Each group had free access to food and led sedentary lives for a 14-day period, but one group had 5.5 hours of sleep and the other had 8.5 hours of sleep per night. Those who slept only 5.5 hours per night showed the same changes in their response to sugar tests that are seen in people with an increased risk of diabetes, whereas the the group that slept 8.5 hours did not show those risks, even though they experienced the other lifestyle changes.
Because this study looked at a small group of persons for a short period of time, the authors recommended that their findings should be supported by larger studies that examine the impact of habitual sleep curtailment on human glucose metabolism.
Obvious groups for such studies would be persons on night shifts or who work odd hours, those that work more than one job, and perhaps, even those with sleep disorders.
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