Sleeping extra hours in the week-end might lower the risk of developing diabetes among healthy individuals, suggests new study.
Humans are created such that they need time to rest – time to sleep. On one hand, too little sleep is detrimental to health, and on the other, too much of it is also undesirable. However, a new study suggests that you need not feel guilty for sleeping in during the week-end because it might actually be protecting you indirectly from diabetes.
Researchers from the University of Chicago demonstrated that spending some extra hours sleeping might be beneficial for people with the risk of developing diabetes.
Diabetes having grown into an epidemic, researchers are forever attempting to investigate further to come up with solutions, hence the idea to correlate the disease with sleep (which past studies have focused on). As per their results, sleep might be a factor worth considering for certain cases.
The participants (19 healthy males) of the new study were asked to modify their sleeping schedules. They were first to sleep for 8.5 hours a night for 4 nights. Thereafter, they were to sleep for only 4.5 hours for the same number of nights. Next, they had 2 nights to catch up during which they slept 9.7 hours per night on average. Their insulin sensitivity and disposition index (used as a predictor of the risk of the diabetes) were monitored. The results show that insulin sensitivity decreased by 23 % while risk of diabetes increased by 16 % after the 4 nights of sleep deprivation. However, the variables were restored to normal following the 2 nights of catch-up sleep.
Commenting on the results, senior author Dr. Ezra Tasali says that the metabolic response they have witnessed is very encouraging as young healthy individuals who have otherwise insufficient sleep during the week can catch up during the week-end to lower their risk of developing diabetes.
The authors also write that their study is not conclusive. The sample of participants was a small one and the study was conducted on a short-term basis. They, therefore, intend to extend their analysis by carrying out more trials in the future.