Over time, sleeping
five hours or less or nine hours or more each night may increase
your risk of developing diabetes.
more than 70,000 diabetes-free women for a 10-year period,
researchers found that women who slept five hours or less
every night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes
symptoms than women who slept for seven or eight hours each
women who slept nine hours or more each night were 35 percent
more likely to develop diabetes symptoms.
During the course
of the study, which began in 1986, 1,969 women developed diabetes
and most showed symptoms of the condition.
not certain why sleeping too much or too little might be linked
to diabetes, though one theory involves leptin, a hormone
that may play a role in signaling the body to stop eating.
Too little sleep
may reduce levels of leptin, possibly causing people to gain
weight and develop diabetes. When researchers removed factors
such as overweight and obesity, too little sleep was not linked
to diabetes, which suggests that sleep may indirectly affect
diabetes by promoting weight gain.
One theory why
too much sleep may increase diabetes risk is that people who
sleep a lot tend to have poorer health in general. They may
also have sleep apnea, a condition that may prevent restful
sleep and cause people to sleep more overall due to feeling
tired. Independently, sleep apnea may also increase diabetes
Care February, 2003;26:380-4