Do you know daytime naps can lead to Diabetes?

Yes you read that right..!! Sleeping during the day can make you more prone to develop Diabetes.

The research states that individuals taking afternoon naps have significantly more risk of developing diabetes. A Canadian study looked at lifestyle habits of 276 people over six years, finding that people with long and short sleep duration were more likely to develop impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes during the time-span compared to normal sleepers (20% versus 7%). A recent review of diabetes and sleep studies found consistent relationships between increased risks of type 2 diabetes and both short and long sleep as well.

It happens due to the fluctuations in the level of glucose in the bloodstream. After eating, blood glucose levels usually rise, which in return causes the body to secrete a hormone known as insulin, one of the main function of which is to control blood glucose levels. However, if for any reason the rise in blood glucose level is substantial, insulin secretion can follow suit, and this can lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) some time later. Hypoglycaemia will generally decrease your physical and mental energies, and may induce sleepiness to an extent that you are actually compelled to sleep. One of the other symptoms that this can give rise to is the feeling of peckishness (particularly for something sweet) on awakening. It is imperative that before the individual develop full-blown diabetes they are generally prone to fatigue and sleepiness as a result of a pre-diabetic state. The most common time in the day for this effect to occur is the mid-late afternoon (approximately 3 hours after lunch). For most of the people, it reflects the body’s reaction towards what we choose to eat for lunch.

If an individual has this imbalance, its likely that they will  be secreting high levels of insulin too. As a result, one or both of these two things can happen: The body may become ‘numb’ to the effects of insulin or can exhaust the pancreas which secretes the insulin, leading to insufficient amounts of insulin

Either of these states can lead an individual to type 2 diabetes. And this mechanism possibly explains why individuals taking afternoon naps are more prone to developing diabetes with time. It has also been suggested that the need to nap during the afternoon is a sign of some form of sleep disturbance that could be increasing diabetes risk. Here again, though, blood glucose imbalance may be playing a part, the reason is that just like blood sugar levels can fall in the mid-late afternoon, they can fall in the middle of the night too (often at 3.00-4.00 am). In response to this, the body is likely to secrete certain hormones that will liberate sugar from its storage such as glycogen in the liver. This will certainly get the body out of this phase, but the issue is the hormones that the body secretes in response to low blood glucose, including cortisol and adrenaline: the two ‘stress hormones’. Presence of these two hormones in the system will suppress deep sleep, and may trip individuals into wakefulness. Individuals may find it difficult to drop off again, which could mean that they really don’t get enough sleep at night. The ‘sleep debt’ so incurred could easily manifest in the form of afternoon fatigue and lead to sleepiness. Since Cortisol also antagonises the effects of insulin, which is another process by which blood glucose disparity may increase the risk of diabetes.

 

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