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Lack of sleep is linked to diabetes

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Lack of sleep is linked to Diabetes

Latest research on diabetes presented at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, reveals that type II diabetes could be prevented if we got enough sleep. According to researchers at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed), people who lose sleep during their work week could prevent the onset of this metabolic disease if they recover the those hours of sleep during weekend.

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The study, which was led by Peter Liu, MD, PhD, lead researcher at BioMed, shows that insulin sensitivity significantly improves after three nights of catch-up sleep on weekends. Recovering the body after sleep restriction during the week and lead to better insulin sensitivity and this lowers the risk of type II diabetes. Liu said that reducing the incidence of this chronic metabolic diseases is critical in a nation where diabetes affects 26 million people and the costs are huge (about $ 174 million annually).

Lack of sleep


Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and regulates blood glucose. Insulin helps the glucose to enter the cells after we eat, in order to be used as a source of energy. When glucose remains in the blood, hyperglycemia occurs, which is characteristic of diabetes. Diabetes can occur either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body loses sensitivity to insulin (hyperglycemia occurs in both cases). In type II diabetes, the body becomes resistant to insulin, which means that the pancreas produces the hormone but it cannot be used properly. If the body recovers insulin sensitivity, type II diabetes could be avoided.

Studies on the link between sleep and diabetes have already been made and have shown that in  healthy, normal sleepers sleep restriction can have harmful effects. New study investigates the profile of men who sleep less during the week because of their job, but recover those lost hours of sleep during the weekend.

The study was conducted on a sample of 19 men (average age 28 years) who stated that they had inadequate sleep for six months or more. On average each man had about six hours of sleep per night. But those hours lost were recovered over the weekend when they slept an extra 37.4 percent, or 2.3 hours, per night. After several experiments in the laboratory, the researchers measured the levels of glucose and insulin and then insulin sensitivity was calculated. It was found that insulin sensitivity was better in men who slept 10 hours a night on each of three nights of catch-up sleep than when they had slept restriction.