Catch Up Sleep Can Reduce Sleep Loss-Associated Diabetes Risk

Extended Sleep and Diabetes RiskRecent studies have linked sufficient sleep to a reduced diabetes risk. This may not sound well to most people who do not get enough sleep especially during weekdays. But new studies seem to indicate that catching up some sleep during the weekend may help reduce diabetes risk associated with sleep loss.

Researchers from the University of Chicago sleep laboratory found out that lean, healthy young men eating a controlled diet experiencing short-term sleep restriction can reduce their sleep loss- associated diabetes risk by catching up on extended sleep during the weekends. In the short-term study, the researchers recruited 19 volunteers of healthy young men. They were made to spend 8.5 hours of sleep for 4 nights on one occasion. On another occasion, the same volunteers were sleep deprived and only allowed 4.5 hours in bed for four consecutive nights, with 4.3 hours of those spent on sleep. The volunteers were then allowed two nights of extended sleep where the volunteers spent an average of 9.7 hours of sleep.

During each period, the researchers monitored their insulin sensitivity and the disposition index, which is a predictor of diabetes risk. The researchers discovered that after four nights of sleep restriction, their insulin sensitivity, or the ability of insulin in the body to regulate blood sugars, decreased by 23 percent. Their disposition index increased by 16 percent.

But the researchers also discovered that after two nights of extended sleep, their insulin sensitivity and disposition index returned to that of normal sleep levels.

According to Esra Tasali, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study, “The metabolic response to this extra sleep was very interesting and encouraging. It shows that young, healthy people who sporadically fail to get sufficient sleep during the work week can reduce their diabetes risk if they catch up on sleep during the weekend.”

“Though this is evidence that weekend catch-up sleep may help someone recover from a sleep-deprived week,” Broussard said, “this was not a long-term study and our subjects went through this process only once. Going forward we intend to study the effects of extended weekend sleep schedules in people who repeatedly curtail their weekday sleep,” Dr. Tasali further added.


Source: University of Chicago Medical Center. (2016, January 18). Weekend catch-up sleep can reduce diabetes risk associated with sleep loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 22, 2016 from


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