Lack of Sleep May Be Linked to Weight Gain and Diabetes, Says New Study

If you haven’t scheduled some time to catch up on sleep this weekend, then you might want to do so now – your health may depend on it.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a small study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine earlier this week suggest lack of sleeps affects the ability for fact cells to respond to insulin efficiently.

When cells fail to respond to insulin, lipids could spill into the bloodstream, surrounding the issue. This state, known as “metabolic syndrome,” could potentially lead to Type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

In the study, participants who slept for 4 ½ hours for four nights had fat cells that were 30% less responsive to insulin, in comparison to those who rested for 8 ½ hours for four days.

“If you’re cramming for finals or have a newborn in the house getting 4 ½ hours of sleep isn’t unusual,” said Matthew Brady, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

The study featured seven healthy people of various sizes with the average age of under 24.

Hispanics are apparently having trouble getting a good night’s rest.

According to a 2010 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, only 38% of Hispanics said they get a good night’s sleep every night or almost every night. Hispanics reported they needed about seven hours and 29 minutes to function at their best and about eight in 10 Hispanics within the group get less than six hours of sleep.

The non-profit research also states most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep for a good night’s rest.

The researchers have noted the study is small and more analysis is needed. They are currently planning a new study to investigate if longer sleep time could improve fat cells, particularly those in obese-middle-age people.

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