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Diabetes 101: Importance of Length of sleep

by IBD Medical on June 27, 2023
Importance of length of Sleep| Diabetes 101|IBD Medical

Many studies have shown that sleeping too much or too little can increase the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Having diabetes can negatively impact the quality of sleep. Additionally, both the type of sleep problems and the amount of sleep disruption may raise the chances of developing diabetes. Studies show that the lowest risk of developing diabetes is found among those who sleep for about 7 to 8 hours per day.

We have gathered for you below some results from different studies that were done:

1) Relation between length of sleep and the risk of developing diabetes (by Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental and Healthcare) :

-The study findings indicate that both sleeping too little and sleeping too much are linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes. The researchers considered lifestyle factors and family history of diabetes to make sure their results were accurate. They also considered measures of overall and central obesity (such as BMI and WHR) to rule out their influence. Even after taking all these factors into consideration, the association between sleep duration and diabetes risk remained significant. In conclusion, both inadequate and excessive sleep durations independently contribute to an increased risk of newly diagnosed diabetes among the Taiwanese population. (Chao, C.-Y., Wu, J.-S., Yang, Y.-C., Shih, C.-C., Wang, R.-H., Lu, F.-H. and Chang, C.-J., 2011).

- Yaggi et al. [17] looked at information from a study called the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. The study included men who were found to have borderline diabetes between 1987 and 1989, and they followed these men until 2004. The researchers divided the men into different groups based on how long they slept each night: those who slept less than 5 hours, 6 hours, 7 hours, 8 hours, and those who slept more than 8 hours. They then calculated the chances of these men developing diabetes. The study found that those who slept less than 5 hours had twice the risk of developing diabetes, while those who slept more than 8 hours had three times the risk compared to those who slept for 7 hours each day. (Chattu, V., Chattu, S., Burman, D., Spence, D. and Pandi-Perumal, S. , 2019).

2) Risk of development Type 2 Diabetes (by Healthcare)

- The study found that men who slept less had a 2.8 times higher risk of developing diabetes. Additionally, men who had trouble falling asleep were nearly 5 times more likely to develop diabetes, and those who had difficulty maintaining sleep had a 4.8 times greater risk. However, the study did not find a strong association between sleep duration and quality and the development of new diabetes in women. (Chattu, V., Chattu, S., Burman, D., Spence, D. and Pandi-Perumal, S. , 2019).

"Q: Can sleep problems or a sleep disorder increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes? (at national institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases) 

A: Yes. Multiple studies have shown that repeated awakenings during the night, insufficient sleep, excessive sleep, and irregular sleep all promote glucose intolerance. Furthermore, if a person has prediabetes or diabetes, poor sleep will worsen the condition" (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , n.d.).


The length of sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. Insufficient sleep can lead to various health issues, emphasising the importance of prioritising adequate and quality sleep. Here is an article for you to understand how diabetes can impact sleep patterns and quality: Diabetes 101: Sleep Disruption


Chattu, V., Chattu, S., Burman, D., Spence, D. and Pandi-Perumal, S. (2019). ‘The Interlinked Rising Epidemic of Insufficient Sleep and Diabetes Mellitus’. Healthcare, 7(1), p.37. doi:

Chao, C.-Y., Wu, J.-S., Yang, Y.-C., Shih, C.-C., Wang, R.-H., Lu, F.-H. and Chang, C.-J. (2011). ‘Sleep duration is a potential risk factor for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus’. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, [online] 60(6), pp.799–804. doi: 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (n.d.). The Impact of Poor Sleep on Type 2 Diabetes | NIDDK. [online] Available at:



Kelsie Patterson courageously faced her own diagnosis of type 1 diabetes with determination and drive, pushing her to pursue a multi-disiplinary approach to become a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care & Educator Specialist, and Certified Personal Trainer. Her passion for helping others motivated her to start "The Diabetes Dietitian" where she works directly with people managing type 1 diabetes to gain control over their blood sugars in order to achieve any life goals.


Remember, it's important to personalise your routine based on your specific needs and consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for individualised advice on managing diabetes.
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