PEOPLE who sleep less than six hours a night may be at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, experts warn.
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes blood sugar levels to get too high.
It’s often associated with a family history of the condition, weight, and inactivity.
But experts say to those who suffer with insomnia could also develop the condition.
Researchers at the University of Bristol have found that those who have trouble napping have higher blood sugar levels.
Experts have previously found links between diabetes and sleep.
A Paper 2018 previously found that losing even one night’s sleep increases your risk of diabetes.
The experts in Bristol compared high blood sugar levels to the frequency of insomnia symptoms.
Participants were asked if they had trouble sleeping or if they woke up in the middle of the night.
They were asked to rate the responses as “usually”, “sometimes”, “rarely” or “never”.
They were also asked how long they slept in hours each night.
A short sleep duration was rated as less than six hours compared to those who slept between seven and eight hours.
A long sleep duration was rated as more than nine hours.
Each person was also asked to log how often they felt daytime sleepiness and whether they were a morning person or a night owl.
There were 336,999 participants, 54 percent of whom were female, with an average age of 56.9 years.
They found that 28 percent of those surveyed suffered from insomnia.
The study, published in Diabetes Care, says treating insomnia could trigger a drop in blood sugar levels.
Lead researcher James Liu said: “We estimated that an effective insomnia treatment could result in a greater reduction in glucose levels than an equivalent intervention that reduces body weight by 14 kg in an average height person.
“This means around 27,300 UK adults aged 40-70 with common symptoms of insomnia would be diabetes-free if their insomnia was treated.”
The 15-minute rule that can help insomniacs nod off
If you suffer from insomnia, a “fifteen minute rule” can send you to dreamland in no time
The advice follows the findings of a comprehensive study by the University of Oxford, the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute.
dr Bryony Sheaves and Professor Colin Espie have a guide to implement the results.
“To foster your bed-sleep connection, follow the quarter-hour rule.
“If you notice that you’re not sleeping within about 15 minutes of going to bed, try to get up,” the experts advised.
What you do with those 15 minutes is entirely up to you.
You can go to another room, distract yourself with a book, or do your relaxation routine until you feel sleepy again.
Just don’t spend time on your phone or computer, as exposure to blue light can make it difficult to fall asleep.
“There is no need to look at the clock,” the study authors wrote. “Just estimate a quarter of an hour.”
After that, you should be able to fall asleep easily – don’t keep your eyes on the clock when you go back to bed.
Even if you have trouble falling asleep, get up on time the next day instead of sleeping late.
Treating insomnia can be difficult and those who have it should try various tips and tricks first.
This can include going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning.
Other treatments include sleeping pills, and hormone therapy cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Diabetes UK experts said the new paper provides important insights into sleep and type 2 diabetes.
dr Faye Riley is Research Communications Manager at Diabetes UK said the paper suggests that insufficient sleep could lead to higher blood sugar levels and play a direct role in the development of type 2 diabetes.
She explained: “Knowing about this could open up new approaches to prevent or manage the condition.
“However, it is important to remember that type 2 diabetes is a complex disease with multiple risk factors.
“A healthy, balanced diet, exercise, and adequate sleep are essential components of good health for everyone — including those at risk of or living with type 2 diabetes.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/health/8619852/sleep-less-higher-risk-diabetes/ People who sleep less than six hours are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, the study warns