March 16, 2009
Less Sleep Connected With Impaired Fasting Glucose

Get over 6 hours sleep per night.

PALM HARBOR, Fla., March 11, 2009 — People who sleep less than six hours a night appear to have a higher risk of developing impaired fasting glucose — a condition that can precede type 2 diabetes, researchers reported at the American Heart Association’s 49th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, appears most often in middle-aged adults. Adolescents and young adults, however, are developing type 2 diabetes at an alarming rate. It develops when the body makes relatively too much insulin and doesn’t efficiently use the insulin it makes (insulin resistance).

Participants who slept on average less than six hours a night during the work week, when followed over six years, were 4.56 times more likely than those getting six to eight hours of sleep to convert from normal blood sugar levels to impaired fasting glucose, researchers said.

This result doesn't prove the direction of causality. After all, a person could have a disorder that decreases their sleep and that disorder might cause impaired glucose tolerance. Or impaired glucose tolerance could reduce the ability to sleep. But not getting enough sleep is certainly a stress on the body and it seems plausible that lack of sleep contributes to the development of insulin resistant diabetes.

The scientists adjusted for a number of other factors.

After adjusting for age, body mass index, glucose and insulin concentrations, heart rate, high blood pressure, family history of diabetes and symptoms of depression, the researchers found a significantly increased risk of developing impaired fasting glucose among short-sleepers compared to the mid-sleepers. Compared to the mid-sleepers, long-sleepers showed no association with impaired fasting glucose, the researchers report.

You can't get around the need for sleep, general good diet (lots of fruits and veggies and less red meat and less refined foods), and exercise. Popping pills or eating specific potent wonder foods won't nullify the negative effects of bad lifestyle choices.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 March 16 10:48 PM  Aging Lifestyle Studies

momochan said at March 17, 2009 1:12 PM:

Back when I was still eating refined carbs, my blood sugar would fluctuate more, and I would sometimes wake up due to hunger. So I wonder if it's possible to get into a downward spiral wherein lack of sleep contributes to blood sugar imbalance which contributes to lack of sleep, and on and on.

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