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People who struggle to sleep are a fifth more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, study - healthyfrog

People who struggle to sleep are a fifth more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, study

People who struggle to get a good night’s sleep are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, even if they are a healthy weight.

A review of more than 1,000 scientific studies into diabetes found insomniacs were at a 17 per cent risk compared to good sleepers.

Type 2 diabetes is linked in most cases to being overweight or obese, not doing enough exercise and consuming too much sugar.

But the review found even insomniacs who were a healthy weight were 7 per cent more likely to get the condition than those who sleep well.

Sleep deprivation causes changes to hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, which make people more prone to overeating, particularly sugary foods – which drives up the risk of obesity and diabetes. 

Previous studies have also pointed to a faulty gene that disrupts the link between our 24 hour, or circadian, rhythms and release of the hormone insulin, which keeps blood sugar levels in check.

Britons are the most sleep deprived people in Europe, with around two thirds of adults admitting they do not get the recommended seven hours a night. 

Scientists behind the study said health chiefs should heed the warnings of the findings and focus on encouraging people to get longer and better-quality sleep.

People who struggle to get a good night’s sleep are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, even if they are a healthy weight, research suggests (file)

For the latest research, experts from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, carried out a literature review of 1,360 studies into type 2 diabetes.

The studies involved about a million adults of all ages from across Europe, 74,000 of which suffered from the condition.

The Swedish researchers looked for preventable risk factors that may be contributing towards type 2 diabetes, which affects about 4million Britons.

NHS enrolls 5,000 patients in mass free trial of its ‘soups and shakes’ weight loss diet proven to REVERSE type 2 diabetes

Thousands of people with type 2 diabetes are being enrolled into an NHS trial of ‘soups and shakes’ diet which has been proven to reverse the illness   

A total of 5,000 patients in England have been signed up to trial the radical 12-month diet programme to slim them down and restore their health.

Volunteers will be restricted to just 800 calories per day – a third of an adult man’s recommended daily intake and almost half of a woman’s.

Their meals will be limited to blended shakes, bowls of soup and health bars for three months, before real, nutritious food is reintroduced for the remaining nine months.

Type 2 diabetes is linked in most cases to being overweight or obese, not doing enough exercise and consuming too much sugar. 

The move is an expansion of a smaller trial after a 2018 study by Oxford University showed almost half of people who stuck to the soups and shakes plan saw their diabetes go into remission after a year. 

Diabetes is estimated to cost the health service £10billion a year, while almost one in 20 prescriptions written by GPs are for diabetes treatment.

The condition is also one of the biggest risk factors in coronavirus deaths, with around a third of UK Covid-19 victims also suffering from the condition.

They highlighted 19 preventable behaviours, habits and conditions – including overeating, smoking and drinking caffeine.

But the scientists said their most surprising finding was that sleep had such a significant influence on chance of type 2 diabetes – driving up the risk by almost a fifth.

When body mass index (BMI) was taken into consideration, the risk was reduced to 7 per cent, suggesting for many it is primarily a weight issue. 

The research was an observational one and the team did not offer any explanation as to why insomnia was linked to the metabolic disorder, even when BMI was considered.

But previous studies have suggested a faulty protein called MT2, may disrupt the link between our 24 hour, or circadian, rhythms and release of the hormone insulin – leading to abnormal control of blood sugar and, hence, type 2 diabetes.

Lead author Professor Susanna Larsson, of the Karolinska Institute, said: ‘Our study confirmed several previously established risk factors and identified novel potential risk factors for type 2 diabetes using the latest summary-level data.

‘Findings should inform public health policies for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes.

‘Prevention strategies should be constructed from multiple perspectives, such as lowering obesity and smoking rates and levels, and improving mental health, sleep quality, educational level and birthweight.’ 

The study, published in the journal Diabetologia, did not say how much sleep someone had to have to be considered an insomniac.

But adults are supposed to get seven or eight hours a night, or at least a minimum of six hours. 

The Swedish scientists also identified 15 factors that appeared to have a protective effect against diabetes.

They included having high levels of good cholesterol, staying fit and healthy and being university-educated.

Going to university is normally associated with partying, drinking alcohol and eating fast food.

But university graduates normally come from wealthier background, which gives them better access to healthy foods.

It’s the poorest in society who bear the burden of type 2 diabetes and obesity in the UK.

Professor Larsson added: ‘Type 2 diabetes is a global public health issue, affecting nine in 100 adults worldwide in 2015 according to the International Diabetes Federation.

‘The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes along with severe complications cause an immense disease and economic burden.

‘Therefore, it is important to better understand the causes of type 2 diabetes and establish prevention strategies.’

The study also identified a further 21 ‘suggestive’ risk factors where evidence was not quite as strong.

These included drinking too much, skipping breakfast and consuming too much salt.

Professor Larsson said: ‘This is the first study that has comprehensively assessed the causal associations between a large number of exposures and type 2 diabetes using the latest summary-level data for type 2 diabetes.’

She said the study design made the results the most reliable and accurate to date.