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Insomnia, diabetes and the melatonin receptor gene

Hot on the heels of our post that reported a link between insomnia and Alzheimer's disease, now we're looking at the potential of a genetic link between insomnia and diabetes.

We already know there's a link between insomnia and diabetes - however, what this latest study tells us is that there may be a genetic link between our melatonin receptors and type 2 diabetes.

After studying over 7,000 women, researchers found that a total of 40 different mutations to the melatonin receptor gene were associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Four of these mutations actually resulted in the complete loss of functionality in the melatonin receptor gene and any one of these four mutations was associated with a significant increase in risk of type 2 diabetes - by up to six times more than average.

Melatonin is important to all of us since it helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Some insomniacs take melatonin supplements in an attempt to improve their sleep. It has already been suggested that melatonin receptors may be to blame for poor sleep - now it would appear that mutations to the melatonin receptor gene may also increase our risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Source: WebMD

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Last updated: May 25, 2016

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • A. Marina Fournier
    July 14, 2012, 3:55 am

    I certainly have a genetic tendency to the type II diabetes I have, psych meds can also contribute to becoming diabetic, all other things being equal, and now, the insomnia. Certainly, in the immediate 12 months before gestational diabetes, and type II a few months later, my sleep had been its usual poor.

    Now, I’m having a hard time waking and staying that way (still not feeling rested), as well as going kerthunk on the bed midafternoon: my sugars are too high. Must see my endo.

    Reply