Worker Health and Wellness

Too much sleep, too little sleep both present diabetes risk for men: study

diabetes test

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Amsterdam – Men who get too much or too little sleep could be at greater risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study from the VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam.

Using 788 healthy men and women between the ages of 30 and 60 from 14 European countries, researchers measured participants’ sleep and physical activity to observe how effectively the body used insulin. They found that men who slept more or less than the average amount – about seven hours – had higher blood sugar levels than those who slept the average amount.

For women, those who slept more or less than the average amount were more responsive to insulin than those who slept the average amount. Women who slept more or less than about seven hours also experienced an enhanced function of beta cells, which produce insulin.

“In men, sleeping too much or too little was related to less responsiveness of the cells in the body to insulin, reducing glucose uptake and thus increasing the risk of developing diabetes in the future. In women, no such association was observed,” Femke Rutters, research team leader from the VU Medical Centre, said in a press release. “Even when you are healthy, sleeping too much or too little can have detrimental effects on your health. This research shows how important sleep is to a key aspect of health – glucose metabolism.”

During the past 50 years, individuals’ average self-reported sleep duration has decreased 1.5 to 2 hours, Rutters said. The prevalence of diabetes has doubled over that same time period.

The study was published June 29 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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