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People with Disrupted Sleep May have Increased Risk for Diabetes

On Saturday, May 19th, 2012

According to one study at the Brigham and women’s Hospital, people who have low amounts of sleep are more at risk for developing diabetes than people who actually enjoy adequate sleep. People who also have a disrupted internal clock as opposed to the normal biological circadian rhythm may also be at risk for diabetes.

Disrupted Sleep

This finding was studied using laboratory studies and epidemiological cases of diabetes. In addition, laboratory studies also used subjects under controlled conditions and examined the effects of altered sleep time, recurrent jet lag and shift work in the development of diabetes.

The study consisted of 21 healthy participants. The researchers controlled the variables such as how many hours of sleep the participants have, the time when they sleep, and activities. The study stared with allowing the participants get normal sleep of 10 hours a day. After this, there were three weeks when the participants have reduced sleep time on the average of 5.6 hours with rotating shifts. The three weeks duration aimed at measuring the risk for diabetes when the body has disrupted circadian rhythm. After which, the participants were able to have normal sleep cycles again for nine nights.

During the whole duration of the study, the blood glucose of the participants was measured. The study revealed that people with altered circadian clock has tendency to have sleep restrictions. Also, there was a significant increase in the blood glucose levels after meals as a result of poor pancreatic insulin secretion during days of sleep disruption as compared to days with normal sleep.

The tendency of increased blood glucose along with poor insulin secretion is important factors for the development of diabetes. The presence of decreased metabolic rate as a result of sleep disruption is also contributory to the development of obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes because of increased insulin resistance.

The findings of the research also supported that those who have pre diabetic conditions, who experience sleep deprivation are at greatest risk for developing full blown diabetes. Those working in the night often have sleep disruptions and limited sleep during the day. The evidences show that getting enough sleep is very important for the overall health and sleep should always happen during the night.

The results of the study may have higher impact on the night workers, wherein they cannot leave the job because of the reason of diabetes prevention. These people may generally opt to stay in their jobs regardless of knowledge that disrupted sleep may lead to diabetes. In this regard, another study in UK has revealed that eating vegetables and fruits reduces the risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes mellitus. This study may have great effect on those people working at night in order to prevent diabetes brought about by the disruption in their circadian rhythm. “This result is due to the fact that fruits and vegetables have lower glycemic index”, says one author of the research.

The effects of sleep and diet have a huge role in the prevention and diseases. In this regard, people should see to it that they have the best sleep and diet to prevent certain illnesses such as diabetes.



Founder at Daily Health Mantra
Jane has worked in the health industry since 2003. Jane lectures & trains on health issues, and is often to be found quoted in health magazines.
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