How Your Sleep Pattern is Connected to Diabetes

Diabetes in America is on the rise.  A 2014 report by the CDC projects that if the country doesn’t take proper health measures by 2050, one in three Americans will have diabetes. This report isn’t a scare tactic to push people off of sugary drinks. The findings are based on the alarming fact that currently 86 million Americans have prediabetes.  Prediabetes is exactly what it sounds like: raised blood sugar levels on the precipice of developing into the real Mccoy. That means roughly a quarter of the country is on the edge of becoming diabetic.  

New research suggests that irregular sleep patterns may increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.  Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,  the study found with all other factors equal, like diet and exercise, participants who slept more than 9 hours were 8 pounds heavier and less than 7 were 4 and a half pounds heavier.  The study also found people with a higher genetic risk of obesity were adversely affected by too much or too little sleep.  In other words, people with a high genetic obesity gained more weight and therefore, need to be more cautious with lifestyle choices such as diet and sleep.

Diabetes may not sound as frightening as Ebola or HIV, but its effects are profound and will only worsen if left unchecked.  Diabetes research has grown exponentially as the disease has become pervasive. According to the CDC, they estimate that cost due to medical bills and lost wages amounts to $245 billion in 2014, up from $174 billion just four years earlier. This growth has concerned doctors such as Dr. Brian Mowill, a diabetes specialist, and the self-proclaimed “Diabetes Coach.”  He recently wrote an article detailing the dangers of diabetes.  

Did you know that in 2016 diabetes was the 7th leading cause of deaths in America? Despite that startling statistic, a survey by Harris Interactive found that just 3% of Americans said they worried about diabetes.  Compare that to 16% concerned about airplane crashes, 13% for snake bites and 3% over sharks attacks.

Americans are overwhelmingly more likely to die from diabetes than any of shark, snakes or planes, combined!  It is frustrating for medical professionals that Americans aren’t taking diabetes as a more dire threat, especially when you consider that diabetes is easily avoided.  Dr. Ann Allbright, a spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association (ADA), stressed that losing 5 or 10 percent of body weight can make a big difference.  

Diabetes is on the rise, and it is dangerous. The good news is that the disease is easily avoidable.  Talk to your doctor about you and your family’s risks for diabetes and be sure to take their advice to heart.

[expand title=”References“]

ABC News. URL Link. Accessed March 2, 2017. URL Link. Accessed March 2, 2017.

DrMowll. URL Link. Accessed March 2, 2017.

Medical News Today. URL Link. Accessed March 2, 2017.


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