In the News: Risk of blood sugar problems increases with lack of sleep

People who sleep less than six hours a night are at greater risk of blood sugar problems that can lead to diabetes, according to research presented by scientists at the University of Buffalo in New York. They found that those who lose sleep during the working week are five times more likely to develop blood sugar problems.

It’s thought that hormonal changes caused by too much or too little sleep can affect the body’s metabolism and appetite control. The study found that those sleeping fewer than six hours a night from Sunday to Thursday over six years were 4.5 times more likely to develop the blood sugar abnormality known as impaired fasting glucose compared to those sleeping between six and eight hours. The condition – which is often called pre-diabetes – is caused by the body not producing enough insulin causing blood sugar levels to rise above normal in the morning. The findings could not be explained by genes and scientists believe they are most likely due to lack of sleep.


Around a third of British adults regularly sleep for five hours or less a night. The healthiest amount of sleep, according to researchers, is seven hours a night.

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