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The link between insomnia and diabetes

We often hear that the increasing prevalence of diabetes is due to the deterioration of our diets and overeating. Another factor may be to blame, though: insomnia.

CBS News recently reported on a small study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism that found insulin sensitivity in patients who slept only four hours per night was reduced by as much as 25% compared to those who slept eight hours.

Another study published in 2009 found that those who slept less than six hours per night were 4.5 times more likely to develop abnormal blood sugar levels within six years compared to those who slept longer.

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism was only small (nine patients). However, if a larger study were to reach the same conclusions it would add further weight to our argument that insomnia needs to be taken more seriously sooner rather than later.

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Last updated: May 20, 2010

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • Ashley Morrison
    January 22, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Martin, I would like to point out, as a type 1 diabetic, that diabetes isn’t taken seriously enough either, and I’m offended by how you’ve linked diet and over-eating to diabetes but not bothered to specify which type of diabetes you’re referring to. Please, correct your mistake.

    • Martin Reed
      January 26, 2012, 4:25 pm

      My apologies if I offended you. I am not an expert when it comes to diabetes, and looking at the CBS story we reported on, they made no mention of the type of diabetes being referred to. Upon further investigation, the study in question mentions both type 1 AND type 2 diabetes.

  • A. Marina Fournier
    November 18, 2010, 5:34 am

    You’re right.

  • Martin Reed
    November 17, 2010, 4:54 pm

    I agree. However, the reason I wrote about this study was to add further weight to our plea for insomnia to be taken more seriously. It isn’t a condition that should just be brushed under the carpet – it can lead to even more serious conditions, and needs to be taken more seriously. We can’t continue to ignore it.

  • A. Marina Fournier
    November 15, 2010, 9:46 pm

    Yet another bit of research that seems to blame the victim–as if we *could* control our sleep issues! Would most of us be here if we could? Yeah, I didn’t think so.