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Diabetes Type 2 Sleep Duration can increase risk for developing Adult Diabetes Is Sleep Apnea the Culprit?

March 24th, 2006

Diabetes Type 2  Sleep Duration can increase risk for developing Adult Diabetes  Is Sleep Apnea the Culprit?

ResMed CPAP machine

A recent study of 1,709 men from ages 40 70 years of age were found that those that were not getting enough sleep or were getting too much sleep had an increased risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.  The optimal sleep was found to be between 6 8 hours each night.

The study was a joint effort between researchers from the New England Research Institutes and the Yale School of Medicine.  The results were first published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

The 1,709 men were participants in a 15 year research project called the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.  Researchers made house calls, had survey questionnaires and took blood samples over the 15 years of the study.


Based on the data collected, they found that the men that had between 6 8 hours were the healthiest.  Men that said they slept between 5 6 hours per night on average have twice the risk of developing diabetes.  The men that slept more than 8 hours a night on average have three times the risk of developing diabetes. 

There was another study called the Nurses Health Study that showed similar results for women.  Getting the right amount of sleep for both women and men are important.

"These elevated risks remained after adjustment for age, hypertension, smoking status, self-rated health status and education," H. Klar Yaggi M.D. who is the lead author of the study and is a professor in Yale's Department of Internal Medicine, pulmonary section.


Researchers are beginning to understand the connection between metabolic and endocrine function.  It is not understood at this time why the extended sleep increase the risk even more than a person that has a shortage of sleep.

"There is a lot of interest in determining whether sleep disturbances such as a reduced amount of sleep or disorders like sleep apnea may actually worsen the metabolic syndrome," said Yaggi.

Being overweight puts a person at a higher risk for developing sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea has been linked to increased risks for developing hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, mood changes, memory problems, and possibly diabetes Type 2.  Because of the lack of good sleep it also puts a person with sleep apnea at a higher risk for automobile accidents.


Sleep apnea can be treated with a CPAP machine which helps to prevent the limited or blocked breathing.  Lack of a good night sleep can make the untreated sleep apnea person more tired, causing tiredness throughout the day.  A sleep study is conducted to determine the type of sleep apnea.  Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and also the most responsive to the use of CPAP machine for treatment.  Central sleep apnea is caused by the brain not signaling a breathing response and is not as common. 

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

Sleep Apnea Books at Amazon

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM