Lack of Sleep Can Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women
A study found that losing just 90 minutes of sleep each night can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
Insulin Resistance and Lack of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep has been shown to increase insulin resistance in women, and the effects are more pronounced in those who have gone through menopause. Experts believe that lack of sleep can increase pressure on insulin-producing cells, leading to their failure. This can put women at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, where blood sugar levels are too high.
The “Silent Killer”
Patients can suffer from diabetes for a long time without detecting it because its symptoms are difficult to identify, or are often ignored, which is why it is described as the “silent killer.”
Results of the Study
These results are the first to show that moderate sleep deficiency for just six weeks causes changes in the body that increase the risk of developing the condition. The researchers wanted to focus on women because it has been suggested that lack of sleep may have a greater impact on cardiovascular health in women than in men.
Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Glucose Metabolism
Previous studies have shown that a short period of total or partial sleep deprivation impairs glucose metabolism. But it doesn’t reflect the typical experience of mild sleep deprivation, which means getting about six hours of sleep for long periods of time. Here, 38 healthy women were enrolled, including 11 postmenopausal women, who routinely slept at least seven hours each night. Using wearable devices, they were monitored for six weeks as they got adequate sleep, and their insulin, glucose and body fat were measured. Participants were also asked to delay their bedtime by an hour and a half, which shortened their total sleep time to about six hours for six weeks. The study found that reducing sleep increases fasting insulin levels by more than 12% overall and by more than 15% among premenopausal women.
Insulin Resistance and Menopause
Insulin resistance increased by 15% overall and by more than 20% among postmenopausal women, according to results published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Consequences of Lack of Sleep
Study leader Marie-Pierre Saint-Onge, from Columbia University, said: “Throughout their lives, women face many changes in their sleep habits due to childbearing, child-rearing and menopause. Over a longer period of time, constant stress on insulin-producing cells may cause them to fail, leading to their failure.” Ultimately, it leads to type 2 diabetes. “The fact that we saw these results independent of any changes in body fat, which is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes, speaks to the effect of moderate sleep reduction on insulin-producing cells and metabolism,” she added. She noted that more research is needed on whether restoring sleep can lead to improved glucose metabolism.
“The bottom line is that getting enough sleep every night may improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially among postmenopausal women.”
Source: Daily Mail