Study: Sleep problems can put women at extra risk for diabetes

A yearly report that ranks how healthy people are in nearly every county of every state has come out with a similar report on sleep. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/amnad)

WASHINGTON — Women who don’t get enough rest could be at much higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, according to Harvard University researchers.

They crunched data on more than 133,000 women, looking for signs of sleep problems. They included difficulty falling or staying asleep, getting less than six hours of sleep, frequent snoring and sleep apnea or rotating shift work.

Those with two of the aforementioned problems were twice as likely to develop diabetes as opposed to women who slept well, while those with four problems quadrupled their risk.

While researchers did not say sleepless nights cause diabetes, they did say there appears to be an association — perhaps hormonal.

They say people who have sleep problems tend to secrete extra ghrelin and cortisol: two hormones that can affect appetite, metabolism and the body’s ability to control blood sugar. And they urge patients and doctors to be aware of the potential for problems.

The findings were published in the journal Diabetologia.

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