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Sleep Deprivation Affects Insulin Sensitivity

Sleep Deprivation Affects Insulin Sensitivity

Researchers have long suspected that sleep deprivation may lead to metabolic disturbances, especially weight gain and disrupted blood sugar control. A new study confirms that people who don’t sleep enough risk insulin resistance.

19 Australian men were selected for the trial because they did not get enough sleep during the work week. They only averaged around 6 hours of sleep a night over roughly five years. Like many chronically sleep deprived people, though, these young men tried to catch up over the weekend by sleeping an extra few hours each night.

Researchers brought them into a sleep lab, controlled their diets precisely and assigned them to sleep either for 10 hours without disturbance, for just 6 hours or for 10 hours with noises to interfere with the quality of their sleep. Insulin sensitivity was best when the men had 10 undisturbed hours of sleep.

[ENDO 2013, June, 2013]

How can you get the sleep you need without pills? Check out our Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep for details. You may also be interested in our hour-long radio show on Solving the Sleep Dilemma.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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