-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Catching up on your sleep
on weekends may help protect you from developing diabetes, a small,
early study suggests.
The study found significant improvements in insulin sensitivity
-- the body's ability to clear sugar from the blood -- among
sleep-deprived men after they had three nights of extra sleep.
"We all know we need to get adequate sleep, but that is often impossible because of work demands and busy lifestyles," Dr. Peter Liu, a researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, said in an institute news release.
"Our study found extending the hours of sleep can improve the body's use of insulin, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes in adult men," Liu said. "Reducing the incidence of this chronic illness is critical for a nation where diabetes affects nearly 26 million people and costs an estimated $174 billion annually."
The study included 19 men without diabetes, whose average age
was about 29. They slept only 6.2 hours per night during the week
but regularly caught up on their sleep on the weekends by sleeping
an extra 2.3 hours per night.
Participants spent three nights in a sleep lab on each of two
separate weekends and were randomly assigned to varying sleep
schedules. These included 10 hours of sleep; six hours of sleep; or
10 hours spent in bed, during which noises during deep sleep
aroused them into shallow sleep without waking them.
The men's blood sugar and insulin levels were checked on the
fourth morning to calculate their insulin sensitivity.
When the men had 10 hours of sleep for three consecutive nights,
their insulin sensitivity was much better than when they got less
sleep, according to the study, which is scheduled for presentation
Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San
The findings are important for people who don't get enough sleep
during the week due to work and busy lifestyles, but catch up on
their sleep on weekends, the news release suggested.
"The good news is that by extending the hours they sleep, adult men who over a long period of time do not get enough sleep during the working week can still improve their insulin sensitivity," Liu said.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services outlines
ways to prevent diabetes.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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