Jan. 21, 2016 – Finally, a good excuse for catch-up sleep on the weekends. In our Oct. 30, 2015 blog on Preventing Prediabetes from Becoming Diabetes <click here>, among the factors we discussed was the importance of adequate sleep. Difficulty sleeping or purposely limiting your sleep has been linked to prediabetes, also known as impaired fasting glucose. Scientists know that restricting sleep is associated with insulin resistance. And it has been shown to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Life sometimes causes us to need to work extra hard or be engaged in activities that cause us to not get the full amount of sleep we need. In my case, college had many long hours of study, research or projects. And when I was in a high-tech startup, we made up for a lack of personnel with long hours put in by the founders (including me). Scientists now have shown that two nights of catch-up sleep cuts diabetes risk and the effects of short-term sleep restriction.
Study Subject Area – Getting Recovery SleepToday’s Culture Sometime Causes Sleep Deprivation – Get Catch-Up Sleep to Reverse the Bad Effects and Increased Risk for Diabetes
Scientists wanted to find out if “recovery sleep” helped the body recover from sleep deprivation. They wanted to know if recovery sleep could reverse the negative effects of short-term sleep restriction on the body’s maintenance of normal values for glucose.
A laboratory controlled test on 19 healthy men (all lean) was done during both normal sleep and sleep restriction periods. Participants received standard meals. They were then subjected to reduced sleep times (average of about 4 ½ hours per night over a four day period. Then, immediately following the sleep deprived days, they were allowed to sleep 12 hours the first next night and 10 hours, the next night.
Researcher’s Findings regarding Catch-Up Sleep
Researchers found (no surprise here) that after sleep restrictions, the test subject’s insulin sensitivity dropped by 23%. The resulting lower level of insulin sensitivity is consistent with an increased risk for diabetes. The researchers wanted to find out what would happen to insulin resistance if the participants were given a chance to catch up on their sleep by sleeping longer hours after the short sleep days. Hooray, it does help.
The researchers were able to demonstrate that after nights of “recovery sleep,” the healthy test subjects were able to improve insulin sensitivity to near normal levels and restore their diabetes disposition index. (The insulin disposition index is a risk factor for diabetes – the index number is a calculation of the Insulin Sensitivity Index (SI) times the Acute Insulin Response (AIR)).
Conclusion – Do “Make-up Sleep” to Reverse the Negative Effects of Short-Term Sleep DeprivationToday’s Culture Often Causes Lost Sleep – Use Catch-Up Sleep to Recover
The researcher’s conclusion was that catching up on sleep can reverse the damaging metabolic effects of short-term sleep restriction. In our modern culture, short-term sleep restriction due to work or school is common. Thank goodness for weekends. Now that you know this – don’t feel bad about getting more sleep on the weekend if you’ve had several long days without adequate sleep. It is actually good for you and may be quite helpful for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes.