Using data from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I), scientists have proposed that sleeping five hours a night or less, for a long period of time may increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Paradoxically, sleeping nine hours or more for extended periods of time may also increase the risk.
In an article that appeared in the online journal, Sleep, researchers studied the 8-10 year follow-up data from the NHANES I study. The abstract from the article explains, "The increased load on the pancreas from insulin resistance induced by chronically short sleep durations can, over time, compromise B-cell function and lead to type 2 diabetes."
The researchers could not find a good reason why sleeping nine or more hours a night for long periods showed a higher risk for type 2 but supposed that it might be because people who sleep that long generally have poorer sleep quality.
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