Morning preference and better sleep linked to reduced type 2 diabetes risk

Jack Woodfield
Thu, 16 Aug 2018
Morning preference and better sleep linked to reduced type 2 diabetes risk
People with prediabetes who are more active in the morning tend to have lower BMI and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than 'evening people'.

The US study reviewed a group of people with prediabetes and found that 'morning people' - those who do activities and eat earlier in the day - had lower BMI than those with an 'evening preference' - who would wake later, eat later in the evening and go to sleep later.

Previous work has shown a direct link between people who struggle to sleep and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. A team from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) wanted to further explore the links further.

The research involved more than 2,000 people with prediabetes, a condition in which people have insulin resistance and slightly higher than normal blood sugar levels. Many people who develop prediabetes subsequently go on to develop type 2 diabetes, but an increasing number of people are improving their health through lifestyle changes, reducing their risk of developing type 2.

To collect the data for this study, researchers asked the participants to outline their morning and evening routine preferences via a questionnaire.

Participants who scored high for 'morning preference' were more likely to wake up earlier, do activities earlier and feel more alert throughout the day. These participants had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those with an evening preference.

Furthermore, higher levels of social jet lag - referring to sleep disparity between weekends and weekdays - were associated with higher BMI, particularly among participants older than 60 years old.

Those with an evening preference had higher BMI, on average, which may be partly explained by insufficient sleep though not by social jet lag.

"Timing and duration of sleep are potentially modifiable. People can have more regular bedtimes and aim to have more sleep, which may help reduce BMI and the potential development of diabetes in this high-risk group," said lead author Dr Sirimon Reutrakul, associate professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in the UIC College of Medicine.

The findings have been published in the Frontiers in Endocrinology journal.

Editor's note: For more information on taking on prediabetes and reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, visit our Low Carb Program - a 10-week digital health intervention which helps people to lower their blood glucose levels and reduce their HbA1c.
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