Jan. 2, 2008 —
Science Daily/University of Chicago Medical Center
Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, report researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Deep sleep, also called "slow-wave sleep," is thought to be the most restorative sleep stage, but its significance for physical well-being has not been demonstrated. This study found that after only three nights of selective slow-wave sleep suppression, young healthy subjects became less sensitive to insulin. Although they needed more insulin to dispose of the same amount of glucose, their insulin secretion did not increase to compensate for the reduced sensitivity, resulting in reduced tolerance to glucose and increased risk for type 2 diabetes. The decrease in insulin sensitivity was comparable to that caused by gaining 20 to 30 pounds.