A study to know the health effects of oversleeping was conducted on almost 9,000 Americans. In this study, researchers found a connection between too much sleep and the risk of diabetes. People who slept more than nine hours each night had a double risk of diabetes than people who took only seven hours of sleep per night. The study failed to make any exact conclusion about the physiological link between oversleep and diabetes, however, it suggested that daily sleep for more than nine hours could be a sign of underlying health problems pertaining to increased diabetes risk.
The risk of diabetes was not only seen in people taking too much sleep, but also in people who slept less than five hours per night who showed the same level of diabetes risk. There are enough evidences suggesting that too less sleep or unusual sleeping time can cause severe and lifelong lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart ailments and obesity. Moreover, switching between day shifts and night shifts also induces diabetes. Another study on sleep deprivation and diabetes concluded that too little sleep disturbs the body’s biological rhythm leading to such disturbances in the body that set a pedestal for diabetes to develop.
Another study on the impact of sleep deprivation on diabetes conducted by Orfeu Buxton of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital concluded that people deprived of sleep have increased risk of type 2 diabetes. This study analysed 21 healthy volunteers, who were asked to spend about six weeks in a laboratory in which their diet, sleeping hours, physical activities and even the exposure to light was kept under strict control. Volunteers were restricted to take only five hours of sleep a day for three weeks and sleep timings were adjusted to mimic jet lag or irregular job shifts. The control was kept to monitor “circadian rhythm of the body” i.e. the regulation of body’s biological clock to determine when a person becomes sleepy or when body’s temperature rises or falls. The finding of this study showed that after a meal, blood glucose shot up because the pancreas stopped producing insulin. Sometimes, this increased the blood sugar to the level as high as in pre-diabetic condition.
Sleep deprivation and oversleep are not only potent risks of developing diabetes but also of more severe health issues giving rise to high blood pressure, obesity, stress and depression, heart and cardiovascular diseases and short-term memory loss due to lack of sleep.
Read more articles on Diabetes Causes and Risks.