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Hunger risk from sleeplessness

Thursday September 9th, 2010

People who miss out on their sleep face a massively increased risk of becoming susceptible to heart disease and diabetes, researchers warned yesterday.

Cutting sleep short interferes with the body's ability to handle glucose, researchers said.

This can lead to a permanent hunger and a desire for sugar, according to the study conducted by Warwick University Medical School, UK.

The condition is known as incident-impaired fasting glycaemia.

People who get less than six hours sleep a night face a three times increased risk of getting the condition, according to the report in the Annals of Epidemiology.

The findings come from research on nearly 1,500 adults in the west of New York, USA.

Researcher Dr Saverio Stranges said: "Previous studies have shown that short sleep duration results in a 28 per cent increase in mean levels of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin so it can affect feeding behaviours.

"Other studies have also shown that a lack of sleep can decrease glucose tolerance and increases the production of cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress."

Professor Francesco Cappuccio, of the university's Sleep, Health & Society Programme, said: "These results are welcome and confirm our early reports that both sleep quantity and quality are strong predictors of the development of type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart attacks."

Annals of Epidemiology DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2010.05.002

Tags: Diabetes | Diet & Food | General Health | Heart Health | UK News

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