Lack of deep sleep increases type 2 diabetes risk

January 1st, 2008 - 12:36 pm ICT by admin  


Washington, Jan 1(ANI): Researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Centre have revealed that lack of deep sleep in healthy young adults may reduce their ability to control blood-sugar levels, thus increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study found that after the lack of three nights of selective slow-wave sleep, young healthy subjects became less sensitive to insulin.

They required more insulin to dispose of the same amount of glucose, but insulin secretion to compensate the reduced sensitivity did not increase, resulting increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Esra Tasali, the lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Centre said that the study provides the first evidence that poor sleep quality was linked to increased diabetes risk.

“These findings demonstrate a clear role for slow-wave sleep in maintaining normal glucose control,” said Tasali.

A profound decrease in slow-wave sleep had an immediate and significant adverse effect on insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance,” she added.

Researchers examined nine lean, healthy volunteers, five men and four women between the ages of 20 and 31, where they spent two consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory, where they slept undisturbed for 8.5 hours.

The same subjects were also studied for three consecutive nights during which they followed identical night time routines and were subtly disturbed by sounds administered through speakers beside the bed, avoiding them from going into slow-wave sleep.

At the end of each study, the researchers gave intravenous glucose (a sugar solution) to each subject, and took blood samples every few minutes to measure the levels of glucose and insulin.

The findings revealed that about 25 percent of the healthy subjects became less sensitive to insulin.

The subjects required more insulin to dispose of the same amount of glucose due to decreased sensitivity and eight of the nine subjects insulin secretion did not increase to compensate the reduced effects.

There was 23 percent increase in blood-glucose levels, comparable to older adults with impaired glucose tolerance.

Since reduced amounts of deep sleep are typical of aging and of common obesity-related sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea these results suggest that strategies to improve sleep quality, as well as quantity, may help to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in populations at risk, said Eve Van Cauter senior author of the study and professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

Young adults spend 80 to 100 minutes per night in slow-wave sleep, while people over age 60 generally have less than 20 minutes. In this experiment, we gave people in their 20s the sleep of those in their 60s,” Tasali added.

Previous studies have also demonstrated many connections between chronic, partial, sleep deprivation, changes in appetite, metabolic abnormalities, obesity, and diabetes risk.

“Chronic shallow non-REM sleep, decreased insulin sensitivity and elevated diabetes risk are typical of aging,” said the authors.

“Our findings raise the question of whether age-related changes in sleep quality contribute to the development of these metabolic alterations.” they concluded.

The findings appear in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. (ANI)

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