BOSTON - Getting just a little less sleep a night could increase the risk of diabetes in women.
Throughout their lives, women often struggle to get a good night's rest, from discomfort during pregnancy, caring for young children who wake in the middle of the night, or the insomnia associated with menopause. Researchers at Columbia University looked at 38 women ages 20 to 75 and found that reducing sleep by an hour and a half, to approximately six hours of sleep a night, led to lower insulin sensitivity, especially in postmenopausal women, a metabolic change that could lead to diabetes over time.
This suggests that greater efforts to consistently get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night could help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
Mallika Marshall, MD is an Emmy-award-winning journalist and physician who has served as the HealthWatch Reporter for CBS Boston/WBZ-TV for over 20 years. A practicing physician Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Dr. Marshall serves on staff at Harvard Medical School and practices at Massachusetts General Hospital at the MGH Chelsea Urgent Care and the MGH Revere Health Center, where she is currently working on the frontlines caring for patients with COVID-19. She is also a host and contributing editor for Harvard Health Publications (HHP), the publishing division of Harvard Medical School.
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