Sleeping longer could reverse the effect of sleep restriction on glucose homeostasis. That is written by American researchers in Diabetes Care. According to the authors, to restore insulin sensitivity and lower the risk of diabetes type 2, it is sufficient to recover from four short nights by sleeping for ten hours twice.
In earlier studies, sleep restriction has been associated with insulin resistance and an elevated risk of diabetes type 2. The reversibility of this effect had not yet been researched. Therefore, along with her colleagues, Josiane Broussard, PhD at the University of Colorado, decided to study the effects of sleep restriction and recovery on glucose homeostasis.
The authors selected a group of 19 healthy young lean men who were subjected to a sleeping regime and standardised meals. In a randomised order, they either underwent a period of normal sleep (approximately 7.8 hours, 4 nights) or a period of restricted sleep (approximately 4.3 hours, 4 nights) followed by recovery sleep (approximately 9.7 hours, 2 nights). Each morning, blood was drawn to assess insulin sensitivity and glucose response.
After sleep restriction, insulin sensitivity was reduced by 23 percent compared to a normal sleep regime. The predictive value for the risk of diabetes type 2 was elevated with 16 percent compared to the period with normal sleep length. Both these values normalised after two nights of recovery sleep
The authors conclude that catching up on sleep could compensate the negative effects of short-term sleep restriction. According to them, their research is relevant because sleep patterns in which sleep restriction is built up during the week and compensated in the weekend are common in modern society. The next step would be to conduct a follow-up study outside the sleeping lab, to assess whether catching up on sleep is effective in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.
Source: Diabetes Care
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