Deep sleep influences diabetes risk

Wed, 02 Jan 2008
Fresh research by the University of Chicago Medical Center found that suppressing levels of slow-wave sleep amongst healthy adults reduces their ability to regulate blood sugar levels, thereby greatly increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes .

Slow-wave sleep is more commonly known as deep sleep, and is the stage at which the body recuperates, and is therefore the key for physical well-being. When study participants had their deep sleep disturbed they quickly became less sensitive to insulin, within just three nights. The influence on the body was similar to that experienced by gaining 20-30 pounds, the researchers said.

The lead author, Esra Tasali, an assistant professor of Medicine at the University, reportedly commented: "These findings demonstrate a clear role for slow-wave sleep in maintaining normal glucose control. A profound decrease in slow-wave sleep had an immediate and significant adverse effect on insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance."

The senior author, Eve Van Cauther, a professor of medicine, reportedly concluded: "Since reduced amounts of deep sleep are typical of aging and of common obesity-related sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea these results suggest that strategies to improve sleep quality, as well as quantity, may help to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in populations at risk."
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