Studies: Too little sleep increases risk for diabetes, heart disease

The AP reports “growing evidence that people who regularly sleep too little and at the wrong time suffer long-lasting consequences that a nap won’t cure: An increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.”

In fact, “studies have long shown that people who sleep fewer than five hours a night have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” while “rotating shift work – three or more night shifts a month interspersed with day or evening hours – raises the risk, too, says a recent report from researchers who analyzed years of medical records from the huge Nurses’ Health Study.”

Focusing on study specifics, the New York Times reports in “Vital Signs” that according to a study of 24 volunteers published last week in the journal Science Translational Medicine, “disturbed sleep resulted in a 27 percent average decrease in insulin secretion after eating, and higher glucose levels over a longer period of time, sometimes high enough to make the subject prediabetic.”

What’s more, “there was an average eight percent decrease in resting metabolism rate…that translates into a theoretical weight gain of more than 12 pounds a year.”

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