A chronic lack of sleep may cause far more serious problems than a tendency to nod off the next day. People who do not get enough sleep on a regular basis may become less sensitive to insulin which, over time, can raise the risk of obesity high blood pressure diabetes In fact, Dr. Eve Van Cauter at the University of Chicago found that chronic sleep deprivation--6.5 hours or less of sleep a night--had the same effect on insulin resistance as aging.
Just like poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress and aging, sleep loss is a risk factor (for type 2 diabetes).
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body loses its ability to respond to insulin, the body's key blood sugar-regulating hormone. This insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise, which in turn can increase the risk for a number of serious medical complications including kidney damage, heart disease, blindness and lower limb amputations.
According to the study healthy adults who averaged 316 minutes of sleep a night--about 5.2 hours--over 8 consecutive nights secreted 50% more insulin than their more rested counterparts who averaged 477 minutes of sleep a night, or about 8 hours.
As a result, "short sleepers'' were 40% less sensitive to insulin.
The researchers suggest that sleep deprivation, which is becoming commonplace in industrialized countries, may play a role in the current epidemic of type 2 diabetes. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found a steady decline in the number of hours Americans sleep each night. In 1975, the average American slept 7.5 hours, down from 9 hours in 1910. Today, adults sleep about 7 hours a night.
American Diabetes Association's Annual Meeting June 25, 2001 Philadelphia
Note that 6.5 hours of sleep a night is chronic sleep deprivation. Hands up thos people that regularly get less than that?