Skimping on Sleep Linked to Diabetes and Higher Mortality Rates

Sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance—a precursor for diabetes—and even increase the risk of early death.

| May 26, 2010

As awareness of pre-diabetes grows, the list of conditions that can lead to it seems to be growing. Along with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, researchers may start listing lack of sleep as another danger signal. Two recently published studies conclude that sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance-a precursor for diabetes-and even increase the risk of early death.

The first study, conducted by the Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, tracked glucose levels in five men and four women after they slept one night for eight-and-a-half hours and a second night for four hours. The Dutch researchers found that even one night of sleep deprivation reduced the subjects' insulin sensitivity by 25 percent. (Read the Diabetes Health article about the study here).

Although the size of their study was small, the Dutch researchers concluded that insulin sensitivity is not fixed in people and can be affected by something as simple as hours of sleep. If so, the pattern of sleep deprivation that affects so many people in Western countries is one more large stone in the edifice of pre-diabetes.

(A 2009 U.S. study concluded that people who slept fewer than six hours per night were 450 percent more likely to develop high blood sugar readings over a six-year period than people who got more sleep.)

The second, longer-term study, conducted by the University of Warwick Medical School in the United Kingdom and the University of Naples Medical School in Italy, tracked 16 studies done over a 25-year period, involving a total of 1.3 million people. The studies were designed to show whether there is a link between too little sleep and the risk of early death. The British and Italian researchers found that people who slept fewer than six hours per night were 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than people who consistently got six to eight hours sleep per night.

The UK-Italy study, although it asserts that there is a conclusive link between sleep deprivation and early death, may have more of a chicken-or-egg component to it. Does lack of sleep lead to undesirable outcomes, or can other undesirable factors lead to sleep deprivation, thus opening the door to yet more problems? 

 * * *


Insomnia Linked to Diabetes

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Sugar, Complications & Care, Diabetes, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Health Care, Health Research, Insulin, Pre-Diabetes, Sleep

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.