Sleep Less Than 6 Hours Ups Diabetes Risk

WARWICK, England, Sept. 9 (UPI) — People who sleep less than 6 hours a night aren’t able to regulate glucose efficiently, increasing the risk of heart disease, British and U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Saverio Stranges of the Warwick Medical School and colleagues at the University at Buffalo find sleep duration is associated with an elevated risk of a pre-diabetic state — known as incident-impaired fasting glycemia.

The researchers looked at six years of data from 1,455 participants ages 35-79 in the Western New York Health Study. The study participants completed a clinical examination that included measures of resting blood pressure, height and weight. They also completed questionnaires about their general health, well being and sleeping patterns.

“We found that short sleep, less than 6 hours, was associated with a significant, three-fold increased likelihood of developing incident-impaired fasting glycemia, compared to people who got an average of 6 to 8 hours sleep a night,” Stranges says in a statement. “Previous studies have shown that short sleep duration results in a 28 percent increase in mean levels of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin so it can affect feeding behaviors. Other studies have also shown that a lack of sleep can decrease glucose tolerance and increases the production of cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress.”

The study is published in the Annals of Epidemiology journal.

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