• Too Little Sleep Might Raise a Woman’s Odds for Diabetes

    Original Article | Dennis Thompson, Published in HealthDay Magazine

    Key Takeaways

    • Women who get poor sleep might have an increased risk of diabetes
    • Getting just 90 minutes less sleep increased insulin resistance in women
    • Researchers will look at whether better sleep helps control diabetes

    TUESDAY, Nov. 14, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Women who don’t get enough sleep might have an increased risk of diabetes, an effect even more pronounced in postmenopausal females, a new study finds.

    Shortening sleep by just 90 minutes increased insulin resistance in women used to getting adequate sleep, researchers at Columbia University.

    The findings are the first to show that even a mild sleep deficit maintained for six weeks can raise the risk of diabetes, researchers said.

    “Throughout their lifespan, women face many changes in their sleep habits due to childbearing, child-rearing and menopause,” said lead researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge, director of the Center of Excellence for Sleep and Circadian Research at Columbia University in New York City. “And more women than men have the perception they aren’t getting enough sleep.”

    For this study, St-Onge and her colleagues enrolled 38 healthy women, 11 of whom had gone through menopause.

    All of the women routinely slept at least seven hours each night. The recommended amount of sleep for optimal health is between seven and nine hours, researchers said, but about a third of Americans get less sleep than that.

    Each of the women were asked to participate in two different phases of the study, in random order.

    Women were asked to maintain their regular adequate sleep in one phase, but in the other phase they were asked to delay their bedtime by an hour and a half, shortening their total sleep to around six hours. Each phase lasted six weeks.

    Curtailing sleep by 90 minutes for six weeks increased fasting insulin levels by more than 12% overall, and by 15% among premenopausal women.

    Insulin resistance increased by nearly 15% overall, and by more than 20% among postmenopausal women.

    Average blood sugar levels remained stable for all participants throughout the study, but researchers said the changes in insulin resistance could cause them to start rising in the long-term.

    Although increased belly fat is a key driver of insulin resistance, the researchers found that the effects of sleep loss on insulin resistance were not linked to any increases in fat.  

    “The fact that we saw these results independent of any changes in body fat, which is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes, speaks to the impact of mild sleep reduction on insulin-producing cells and metabolism,” St-Onge said.  

    Researchers will next investigate whether better sleep can improve blood sugar control and glucose metabolism.

    The study was published Nov. 13 in the journal Diabetes Care.

    More information

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about sleep and diabetes.

    SOURCE: Columbia University, news release, Nov. 13, 2023

  • Diabetics who sleep badly are at greater risk of dying prematurely, study suggests

    Original Article | CNN Health By Sandee LaMotte, CNN

    (CNN)People with diabetes who had trouble falling or staying asleep were 87% more likely to die of any cause over the next nine years than people without diabetes or sleep problems, a new study finds.

    Poor sleep linked to weight gain in 2-year smartphone sleep tracking studyKnutson and her team also compared people with diabetes who slept well to people with the condition who often experience poor sleep.”People with diabetes who slept badly were 12% more likely to die over a nine-year followup period than people with diabetes who slept without frequent sleep disturbances,” Knutson said.The study is the first to look at the combination of diabetes plus sleep disturbances and mortality risk, she added.

    Known link between diabetes and sleep problems

    A study of this type can only show association and not causation, said sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, who was not involved in the research.Enter your email to subscribe to the Results Are In Newsletter with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.“close dialog”

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    Sign Me UpNo, ThanksBy subscribing you agree to ourPrivacy PolicyWhile the study’s findings are disturbing, he said, they are not surprising.”Diabetes is a deadly disease and it can be easily affected by sleep — or the other way around,” Dasguta said. “Are you getting poor sleep because your diabetes is poorly controlled or is the poor sleep making your diabetes worse?”For example, Dasgupta said, people with Type 2 diabetes, the most common type, tend to be overweight and may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, when throat muscles relax and close the airway, thus disrupting sleep.

    Get better sleep by cuddling up with your partner“People with Type 2 diabetes are also predisposed to kidney issues and make multiple trips to the bathroom in the night because they’re always urinating, especially if their diabetes is poorly controlled,” he added. “They can also have damage to blood vessels which causes leg pain called neuropathy, and It’s hard to go to sleep because of that pain.”It’s also possible that poor quality sleep may impact the body’s ability to regulate blood sugars, thus contributing to the development of diabetes, Knutson said.”There’s experimental work which shows that if you take healthy people and disturb their sleep you see impairments in insulin sensitivity,” she said. “There could be a bidirectional association between the two, so if you have sleep issues for a long period of time it may actually lead to the development of diabetes.”

    What to do?

    Acknowledge and tackle your sleep problems, regardless of whether or not you have diabetes, Knutson said. Sleeping poorly is a risk factor for premature death from any cause all by itself.

    Sleep hygiene: 8 ways to train your brain for better sleep“If you usually have trouble falling or staying asleep, you need to talk to a physician and really get at the root of the problem. Find out why aren’t you sleeping well and then figure out how to fix it,” she said.Want some tips for better sleep? SIGN UP FOR CNN’s SLEEP, BUT BETTER newsletterIf you have diabetes, “treat your diabetes — that’s the take home message from this study,” Dasgupta said.”Diabetes is something that needs to be managed by your primary care doctor and endocrinologist.”If you’re not sleeping well, it may be harder to manage your diabetes, Knutson said.Get CNN Health’s weekly newsletter

    Sign up here to get The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team.”It’s not easy to do and then if you’re sleep deprived, maybe you’re just not as good at remembering to take your medication or measure your blood sugars,” she said.A sleep specialist may also need to do a sleep study to see if you have an underlying sleep disorder, Dasgupta said.”When you tell me someone’s waking up quite a bit and they have diabetes, I may not only do need to treat the diabetes, I need to treat sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome or another sleep issue,” Dasgupta added. “Don’t hesitate to get the help you need.”