People who sleep less than six hours a night are more likely to develop diabetes, new research has revealed. It was found that those who sleep less than six hours a night during the working week were three times more likely to have higher blood sugar levels than people who sleep between six and eight hours.
Previous research has shown that sleep that is severely restricted can bring about a rise in appetite-stimulating hormones, while lowering the hormones that inhibit appetite. Also, it is known that people who are not getting a proper night’s sleep can have cravings for calorie-rich food, and that it can also reduce the tolerance for glucose, while increasing cortisol levels and variations in the heart rate, which can result in increased blood glucose levels .
Lisa Rafalso, lead author of the study, which was published in the Annals of Epidemiology, said “This research supports growing evidence of the association of inadequate sleep with adverse health issues.”
The research compared people who developed pre-diabetes with study participants who had maintained normal glucose levels for years, categorising them in terms of the amount of sleep they got. The findings pointed towards short sleepers having a significantly increased risk of progressing from normal glucose levels to pre-diabetes, compared to those who slept six-to-eight hours nightly.
Rafalson added “A high glucose level is associated with many complications, such as heart disease and premature death. Physicians should discuss sleep habits with their patients, along with other lifestyle issues that are important to long-term health, such as diet and exercise .”

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