Irregular Sleep Is Worse Than Short Sleep for Prediabetes
written by/ May 9, 2022
The notion that the lack of sleep is linked to weight gain and various unfavorable metabolic changes is widely accepted. However, a recent study proves that this isn’t entirely true for the pre-diabetic condition called glucose intolerance (GI).
The intriguing results from this decade-long study pending publication in May revealed that the lack of sleep or short sleep isn’t enough to cause GI.
Rather, it’s the continuous natural sleeping cycle disruption combined with a high-fat diet that puts people at risk of such glucose-level imbalance.
GI includes several metabolic disorders that make the body lose its ability to use sugars correctly. As a consequence, sugar builds up in higher concentrations in the bloodstream.
In a previous study, Charles Czeisler, the lead researcher and professor of Science of Sleep at the Harvard Medical School, discovered that the combination of short and irregular sleep is what may induce GI.
The present study may be considered as a sort of a sequel to the previous one, and it was conducted to determine the roles that each of the two factors (irregular sleep pattern and minimal sleep) play in glucose-related metabolic disorder development.
Results suggested that sleep disruption alone isn’t enough to shift metabolism into “diabetic mode.” However, bouncing back and forth between different sleep schedules during the weekend and workdays can do this.
So, the phenomenon of social jet lag is the perfect recipe for GI.
That being said, shift workers, insomnia, and circadian rhythm disorder sufferers are typical examples of people with a GI predisposition due to irregular sleeping patterns.
Still, one should keep in mind that the adverse metabolic consequences also depend on consuming a high-fat diet. Hence, according to scientists, those who can’t avoid disrupted sleep should turn to a low-fat diet to prevent GI and diabetes.
Though GI to diabetes convertibility isn’t that high (according to WHO, each year, between 5% and 10% of those suffering from glucose intolerance will develop diabetes mellitus), taking steps to prevent it is more than worth it.
You know what they say — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.