April 20, 2024
Type 2 Diabetes

Inadequate Sleep Increases the Likelihood of Developing Type 2 Diabetes, Reveals Research

A recent study conducted by Uppsala University and published in JAMA Network Open has shed light on the association between insufficient sleep and the risk of type 2 diabetes. The research suggests that adults who consistently sleep for only three to five hours per day are more prone to developing type 2 diabetes. The study, led by Christian Benedict, an Associate Professor and sleep researcher at Uppsala University, emphasizes that a lack of adequate sleep cannot be offset solely by maintaining a healthy diet.

Benedict, along with a team of researchers, delved into the correlation between type 2 diabetes and sleep deprivation. Type 2 diabetes impairs the body’s ability to process glucose, leading to difficulties in insulin absorption and resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. As of 2020, more than 462 million individuals worldwide were reported to be living with this condition, which can have severe consequences on nerves and blood vessels, thereby posing a growing public health concern globally.

While prior studies have documented a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes with recurrent short sleep durations, adopting healthy dietary practices like consuming fruits and vegetables regularly has been shown to mitigate this risk. Nonetheless, it has remained uncertain whether individuals who chronically experience insufficient sleep can lower their likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes through healthy eating habits, as highlighted by Diana Noga, a sleep researcher at Uppsala University.

To investigate this further, the researchers drew upon data from the UK Biobank, one of the largest population databases globally, housing genetic information and health and lifestyle data from nearly half a million participants in the UK. Monitoring these participants for a period exceeding 10 years, the study unearthed a connection between sleeping for three to five hours per day and an escalated risk of type 2 diabetes.

Contrastingly, maintaining a nutritious diet was associated with a reduced risk of developing the disease. Yet, individuals who followed a healthy diet but slept for less than six hours daily still exhibited a higher vulnerability to type 2 diabetes.

The findings challenge the notion that a balanced diet can compensate for inadequate sleep in terms of averting the risk of type 2 diabetes. Rather than inciting alarm, Benedict suggests that these results underscore the crucial role of sleep in maintaining overall health. He further underscores that the impact of sleep deprivation can vary among individuals, influenced by factors such as genetics and an individual’s unique sleep requirements.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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