Research findings highlight sleep deprivation as a modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Chronic sleep deprivation may increase insulin Healthy women are more resistant to it, and the effects are more pronounced in postmenopausal women, according to a study funded by . National Institutes of Health (NIH (National Institutes of Health). Research results published in scientific journals diabetes care, emphasizes the importance of adequate sleep to minimize the risk of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can develop when the body cannot effectively use insulin, an important hormone for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
“Women report having worse sleep than men, so understanding how sleep disorders impact health throughout the lifespan is critical, especially for postmenopausal women,” National Heart said Dr. Marishka Brown, director of the National Sleep Disorders Research Center. The Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) co-funded this study with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the NIH.
Research focused on women’s sleep patterns
Previous research has shown that sleep restriction can increase your risk of symptoms such as: cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and impaired glucose metabolism, which can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, many of these studies were conducted only in men or focused on severe sleep restriction for short periods of time.
The current study, which enrolled only women, sought to determine whether long-term, mild sleep restriction, such as losing just 1.5 hours of sleep each night, would increase blood sugar and insulin levels in women. Insulin helps regulate glucose in the body, but when the body’s cells build up resistance to insulin, they can no longer use insulin effectively and the risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes can increase dramatically. there is.
For this study, the researchers looked at patients who had healthy sleep patterns (at least 7 to 9 hours each night), normal fasting blood sugar levels, but who were overweight, obese, or had chronic conditions that led to cardiometabolic disease. They recruited 40 high-risk women aged 20 to 75. Family history of type 2 diabetes, increased blood lipids, or cardiovascular disease.
Methodology and findings
To establish a baseline for the study, the women wore sensors on their wrists to track their sleep, determining their typical sleep patterns over a two-week period and recording nightly sleep records. The women then completed their two 6-week study phases in random order. One continued to follow a healthy sleep pattern and her other one restricted her sleep. During that time, I took a six-week break to recalibrate.
During the adequate sleep phase, participants maintained their normal bedtime and wake time. They slept an average of 7.5 hours a night. During the sleep restriction phase, participants delayed their bedtime by 1.5 hours each night while maintaining their normal wake time. At this stage, they slept 6.2 hours each night. This reflects the average amount of sleep for U.S. adults who don’t get enough sleep. At the beginning and end of each study phase, participants completed an oral glucose tolerance test to measure blood glucose and insulin levels and an MRI scan to measure body composition.
Researchers found that restricting sleep to 6.2 hours or less per night for six weeks increased insulin resistance by 14.8% in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, with the effects being more severe in postmenopausal women. The impact was found to reach 20.1%. They found that fasting insulin levels increase in response to sleep restriction in premenopausal women, whereas both fasting insulin and fasting blood glucose levels tend to increase in postmenopausal women. discovered.
“What we’re seeing is that more insulin is needed to normalize blood sugar levels in women who are on sleep restriction, but even then insulin is needed to normalize blood sugar levels in postmenopausal women. may not have been sufficient to counter the rise in -Pierre Saint-Onge, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Nutritional Medicine and Director of the Sleep and Circadian Research Center of Excellence columbia university Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and the study’s senior author. “If this persists over a long period of time, prolonged sleep deprivation in prediabetics can accelerate the progression to type 2 diabetes.”
Conclusion and future research
The researchers also looked at whether changes in body weight explained changes in insulin and blood sugar levels, since people tend to eat more in sleep-restricted conditions. However, it was found that the effect on insulin resistance had little to do with changes in weight, and that once women started getting their typical seven to nine hours of sleep each night again, insulin and glucose levels returned to normal. did.
Dr Corinne Silva, Program Director in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, said: “This study shows the impact of even modest sleep deprivation on the health of women at all stages of adulthood and across racial and ethnic backgrounds. “It provides new insights.” NIDDK disease. “Researchers are conducting additional studies to better understand how sleep deprivation affects metabolism in men and women, as well as explore sleep interventions as tools in type 2 diabetes prevention efforts. I am planning.”
References: “Chronic sleep deprivation in women impairs insulin sensitivity independent of changes in obesity: results of a randomized trial” by Faris M. Zuraikat; Brandine Laferrere. Chen Bin; Samantha E. Scaccia. Choi Zuo Gyo. Brooke Agarwal. Sanja Geric and Marie-Pierre Saint-Onge, November 13, 2023, diabetes care.
Funding: This research was supported by NHLBI (R01HL128226, R35HL155670, T32HL007343, R01HL106041, R01HL137234) and NIDDK (R01DK128154, R01DK128154, P30DK063608, R01DK128154) received funding and support for clinical trials. National Center for the Advancement of Translational Science (NCATS; UL1TR001873).