Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lack Of Deep Sleep May Increase Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Date:
January 2, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. This study found that after only three nights of selective slow-wave sleep suppression, young healthy subjects became less sensitive to insulin.

Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, report researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Credit: iStockphoto/Libby Chapman

Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, report researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Deep sleep, also called "slow-wave sleep," is thought to be the most restorative sleep stage, but its significance for physical well-being has not been demonstrated. This study found that after only three nights of selective slow-wave sleep suppression, young healthy subjects became less sensitive to insulin. Although they needed more insulin to dispose of the same amount of glucose, their insulin secretion did not increase to compensate for the reduced sensitivity, resulting in reduced tolerance to glucose and increased risk for type 2 diabetes. The decrease in insulin sensitivity was comparable to that caused by gaining 20 to 30 pounds.

Previous studies have demonstrated that reduced sleep quantity can impair glucose metabolism and appetite regulation resulting in increased risk of obesity and diabetes. This current study provides the first evidence linking poor sleep quality to increased diabetes risk.

"These findings demonstrate a clear role for slow-wave sleep in maintaining normal glucose control," said the study's lead author, Esra Tasali, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "A profound decrease in slow-wave sleep had an immediate and significant adverse effect on insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance."

"Since reduced amounts of deep sleep are typical of aging and of common obesity-related sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea these results suggest that strategies to improve sleep quality, as well as quantity, may help to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in populations at risk," said Eve Van Cauter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study.

The researchers studied nine lean, healthy volunteers, five men and four women between the ages of 20 and 31. The subjects spent two consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory, where they went to bed at 11 P.M., slept undisturbed but carefully monitored, and got out of bed 8.5 hours later, at 7:30 A.M.

The same subjects were also studied for three consecutive nights during which they followed identical nighttime routines. During this session, however, when their brain waves indicated that they were drifting into slow-wave sleep they were subtly disturbed by sounds administered through speakers beside the bed.

These sounds were loud enough to disrupt deep sleep but not so loud as to cause a full awakening. This technique enabled the researchers to decrease slow-wave sleep by about 90 percent, shifting the subjects from the onset of deep sleep (stage 3 or 4) to a lighter sleep (stage 2) without altering total sleep time.

"Our system proved quite effective," Tasali said. When asked about the sounds the next morning, study subjects vaguely recalled hearing a noise "three or four times," during the night. Some recalled as many as 10 to 15. On average, however, subjects required about 250-300 interventions each night, fewer the first night but more on subsequent nights as "slow-wave pressure," the body's need for deep sleep, accumulated night after night.

"This decrease in slow-wave sleep resembles the changes in sleep patterns caused by 40 years of aging," Tasali said. Young adults spend 80 to 100 minutes per night in slow-wave sleep, while people over age 60 generally have less than 20 minutes. "In this experiment," she said, "we gave people in their 20s the sleep of those in their 60s."

At the end of each study, the researchers gave intravenous glucose (a sugar solution) to each subject, then took blood samples every few minutes to measure the levels of glucose and insulin, the hormone that controls glucose uptake.

They found that when slow-wave sleep was suppressed for only three nights, young healthy subjects became about 25 percent less sensitive to insulin. As insulin sensitivity decreased, subjects needed more insulin to dispose of the same amount of glucose. But for eight of the nine subjects, insulin secretion did not go up to compensate for reduced effects. The result was a 23 percent increase in blood-glucose levels, comparable to older adults with impaired glucose tolerance.

Those with low baseline levels of slow-wave sleep had the lowest levels after having their sleep patterns disrupted and the greatest decrease in insulin sensitivity.

The alarming rise in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is generally attributed to the epidemic of obesity combined with the aging of the population. "Previous studies from our lab have demonstrated many connections between chronic, partial, sleep deprivation, changes in appetite, metabolic abnormalities, obesity, and diabetes risk," said Van Cauter. "These results solidify those links and add a new wrinkle, the role of poor sleep quality, which is also associated with aging."

"Chronic shallow non-REM sleep, decreased insulin sensitivity and elevated diabetes risk are typical of aging," the authors conclude. "Our findings raise the question of whether age-related changes in sleep quality contribute to the development of these metabolic alterations."

This research was reported in the "Early Edition" of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, available online Dec. 31, 2007.

The National Institutes of Health funded this research. Additional authors include Rachel Leproult and David Ehrmann of the University of Chicago Medical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Medical Center. "Lack Of Deep Sleep May Increase Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080101093903.htm>.
University of Chicago Medical Center. (2008, January 2). Lack Of Deep Sleep May Increase Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080101093903.htm
University of Chicago Medical Center. "Lack Of Deep Sleep May Increase Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080101093903.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Distracted Adults: ADHD?

Distracted Adults: ADHD?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Most people don’t realize that ADHD isn’t just for kids. It can affect the work as well as personal lives of many adults, and often times they don’t even know they have it. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Sight and Sounds of Autism

The Sight and Sounds of Autism

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new study is explaining why for some people with autism what they see and what they hear is out of sync. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experiences Make Us Happy, Even Just Waiting For Them

Experiences Make Us Happy, Even Just Waiting For Them

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) New research finds we get more excited to buy experiences than we do to buy material things. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins