Lack of Sleep May Contribute to Risk of Diabetes - 8 News NOW

Paula Francis, Anchor

Lack of Sleep May Contribute to Risk of Diabetes

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A recent study showed the lack of sleep may lead to health problems, including cancer.

Now another study suggests that getting less than five hours of sleep a day may contribute to the onset of Type-2 diabetes.

The 24/7 city of Las Vegas has its share of people who don't get enough sleep. And some will end up in the office of Dr. Charles McPherson at the Sunrise Hospital Sleep Center.

Dr. McPherson says it is plausible that a chronic disruption of sleep could contribute to the onset of Type-2 Diabetes.

"In those patients with an elevated number of those events, they do have increased blood sugar levels and increased resistance in their body to insulin," he said. 

But the study out of Columbia University also found that too much sleep, more than nine hours a day, may also contribute to the onset of diabetes.

In this respect, Dr. McPherson is skeptical. He does not believe that too much sleep could be a direct cause of diabetes, but rather an indicator of something else.

He explains, "It's really that other underlying disorder or problem that's really contributing to the increased chance of having diabetes."

People suffer from a chronic lack of sleep for many reasons. Some are self-imposed, such as staying up too late, while getting up too early.

Still others are more physical in nature, such as sleep apnea, caused by a repeated interruption in breathing. There has been evidence that treating sleep apnea can improve diabetes management.

Dr. McPherson says improving the sleep problem, at least with sleep apnea, clearly improves diabetes.

However, the doctor adds that the new study doesn't draw a conclusive link between diabetes and sleep, but it does show enough interest to warrant a closer look.

E-mail your comments to Anchor Paula Francis.

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