Inadequate Sleep Could Cause Type 2 Diabetes - Vibes Of India

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Inadequate Sleep Could Cause Type 2 Diabetes

| Updated: March 7, 2024 12:19

New study from Sweden’s Uppsala University highlights link between sleep and diabetes

People who sleep only three to five hours a day are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reveals a new study from Uppsala University in Sweden. The study, which has been  published in JAMA Network Open, also indicates that healthy eating cannot by itself compensate for chronic sleep deprivation.

“I generally recommend prioritising sleep, although I understand it’s not always possible, especially as a parent of four teenagers,” says Christian Benedict, Associate Professor and sleep researcher at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences at Uppsala University.  

Prof Benedict, lead researcher in the study, and a team of researchers have examined the link between type 2 diabetes and sleep deprivation. Type 2 diabetes affects the body’s ability to process sugar (glucose), hindering insulin absorption and resulting in high blood sugar levels. 

Serious global challenge 

Globally, over 462 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes. In the long term, it can cause serious damage, particularly to nerves and blood vessels. As such type 2 diabetes is a grave global public health problem. 

The team of researchers used data from the UK Biobank where around half a million participants answered questions on health and lifestyle. After following the participants for over ten years, the researchers found that sleeping between three and five hours was linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Previous research has shown that healthy dietary habits such as regularly eating fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, it is unclear whether people who sleep too little can reduce their risk of developing the condition by eating healthily, says Diana Noga, a sleep researcher at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences at Uppsala University.

“Our results are the first to question whether a healthy diet can compensate for lack of sleep in terms of the risk of type 2 diabetes. They should not cause concern, but instead be seen as a reminder that sleep plays an important role in health,” explains Prof Benedict.

According to him, the effects of sleep deprivation vary between individuals, depending on genetics and a person’s need for sleep.

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