Friday, May 7, 2010

Sleep and Insulin: Understanding Sleep Apnea’s Relation to Diabetes

A study in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that just one night of sleep deprivation can induce insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a component of type II diabetes.

These results give insight into why sleep apnea raises a person’s risk for type II diabetes. Untreated sleep apnea prevents people from getting restorative sleep.
Previous studies found that short sleep duration over multiple nights resulted in impaired glucose tolerance. This is the first study to examine the effects of only a single night of partial sleep restriction.

The study included nine healthy subjects. Five of the subjects were men. Four of the subjects were women. The researchers measured insulin sensitivity of each participant. They used the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp method.

This method uses catheters to infuse glucose and insulin into the bloodstream. They determined insulin sensitivity by measuring the amount of glucose necessary to compensate for an increased insulin level without causing hypoglycemia.

The measurement was taken after two separate nights of sleep. On the first night, participants slept eight hours. One the second night, they slept four hours.

Insulin resistance was noted after the shorter night of sleep.

“Our data indicate that insulin sensitivity is not fixed in healthy subjects, but depends on the duration of sleep in the preceding night,” said Dr. Esther Donga, lead author of the study, in a press release.

The researchers suggest that improving sleep duration may help stabilize glucose levels in diabetes patients.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.