A connection between sleep and diabetes? Who knew? Women getting fewer than 5 hours of sleep each night are one-third more likely to develop diabetes, say Harvard researchers who conducted a far-ranging 10-year sleep study of more than 70,000 women (Diabetes Care, Feb 2003). The reasons that sleep problems might be connected to diabetes isn’t clear, but researchers think that too little sleep may reduce levels of leptin, a hormone that tells us to stop eating. Essentially, sleep loss may cause you to want eat more than your body needs. After going without enough sleep for two nights, people in one study had more of the hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin and less of the appetite-suppressing leptin.
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