According to a study just published in the journal Diabetologia, a lack of sleep might increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. A group of researchers believe lack of sleep can cause an increase in the levels of free fatty acids in one’s blood.
Free fatty acids hinder the ability of insulin to regulate a person’s blood sugar levels. The investigative team stated that their findings indicate that high rates of diabetes and obesity could very well be lowered by the simple act of getting more sleep.
Senior study author Dr. Esra Tasali, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago in Illinois stated in a press release: “At the population level, multiple studies have reported connections between restricted sleep, weight gain and type 2 diabetes.”
Their research project focused on 19 healthy men between ages 18 and 30. The subjects took part in two different sleep scenarios. The one scenario had volunteers sleeping for approximately eight hours a night for a total of four nights. In the other scenario, participants slept for a bit more than four hours for four nights.
Following four consecutive nights of four hours sleep, the subjects’ blood levels of free fatty acids rose and remained high for approximately five hours in the early morning. Normally, these levels reportedly peak and then plunge overnight. Their findings indicate that for as long as fatty acid levels stay high, insulin’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels was hindered.
Lead study author Josiane Broussard, a former graduate student at the University of Chicago and present postdoctoral research scientist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute in Los Angeles elaborated: “The result was a significant loss of the benefits of insulin. This crucial hormone was less able to do its job. Insulin action in these healthy young men resembled what we typically see in early stages of diabetes.”
The results of their research further support the belief that a lack of sleep could interfere with fat metabolism. It also indicates that an increase in sleep time could lower raters of diabetes and obesity.
Lack Of Sleep Can Cause Obesity And Diabetes