Lack of Sleep Tied to Higher Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease

Here are three more reasons to make sure you get enough sleep at night. A Korean study suggests that fewer than six hours of sleep can lead to higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

“Short” sleepers, as the researchers called them, are at greater risk for developing metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of risk factors including high blood sugar, high cholesterol, extra fat around the midsection, high blood pressure and excess amounts of fats in the blood.

For the study, the team monitored 2,600 adults for two years. Participants were given lifestyle questionnaires once between  2005 and 2008, and again between 2008 and 2011. Participants also shared medical history and were given medical exams within the study period.

After an average follow-up of 2.6 years, about 560 people in the study, or 22 percent of participants, developed metabolic syndrome, according to the results in the journal Sleep.

Short sleep duration was linked to about a 30 percent increased risk of high blood sugar and excess belly fat, as well as 56 percent higher odds of hypertension, compared to those who slept longer.

The team did note that relying on the participants' self-responses to the questionnaires and their recall their sleeping habits, lifestyle behaviors and medical records may have left room for some error. Nevertheless, the findings are consistent with previous research, and remain credible since sleeping habits were surveyed before any of the participants exhibited symptoms of disease.

The scientists emphasized that the research provides more evidence of why people need to pay close attention to their sleeping habits.

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Sourced from: Reuters, Lack of sleep linked to risk factors for diabetes and heart disease