Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Sleep deprivation and insulin
More research continues to be done on the effects of sleep deprivation on our metabolism. This article summarizes a small study looking at how acute sleep loss impacts insulin sensitivity. Researchers studied healthy, young adults without diabetes. They reduced their sleep time from 9 to 5 hours for five nights in a row - supposedly to simulate how little some may sleep during a workweek. After the 5 short nights, they let the participants sleep 9 hours a night for five more nights. The results showed that the subjects sensitivity to insulin decreased during the 5-hour sleep nights. This means that their bodies had to produce more insulin to keep their blood sugar under control. They didn't develop diabetes, but reduced insulin sensitivity is a precursor to diabetes. The next step will be to assess how less sleep affects older adults and adults with pre-diabetes / diabetes.