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Link Between Long Naps and Increased Diabetes Risk

As we get older, napping becomes a fun activity because it can make the body fresher to continue activities. However, napping for too long has been linked to type 2 diabetes. Is that true? Check out the explanation in the following review.

Link Between Long Naps and Increased Diabetes Risk

The link between too long naps and diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels in the body increase beyond normal limits. Research shows that long naps are linked to diabetes.

The longer the duration of your nap, the higher your risk of developing diabetes. A study on sleep and diabetes was conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo involving 300 thousand participants.

This study found that napping longer than 60 minutes can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus by as much as 45%.

Not only that, this study also showed that there was no risk of type 2 diabetes in people who slept for less than 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, another study involving 250 thousand participants in America, China and Europe showed that people who have a habit of napping have a 17% higher chance of developing diabetes when compared to people who never nap.

Long naps can also be a sign of undetected diabetes.

Diabetes occurs because the hormone insulin, which is supposed to carry sugar into cells, is lacking or absent altogether in the body. This condition will make the cells unable to make enough energy and eventually the body becomes weak.

One of the symptoms is fatigue so that the body becomes sleepy more easily.

Also Read: Recognizing the Importance of Drinking Water for Diabetics

Reasons for Long Naps Can Cause Diabetes

It is known that there are several causes of diabetes if you nap too long, including:

1. Causes Changes in Circadian Rhythms

The human body has a circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle that regulates the functions and processes that occur in the body. This circadian rhythm is part of the body’s biological clock and is also known as the sleep-wake cycle.

Disrupted circadian rhythms can lead to obesity, an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

A study shows that insulin activity is regulated by circadian rhythms. During the day or during the high activity phase, the human body will become more sensitive to insulin, so that more blood sugar is converted into energy.

When the phase is inactive or at night, the body becomes more resistant to insulin. The body becomes more difficult to convert sugar into energy.

Napping for a long time can disrupt this system and result in disruption of sugar metabolism in the body.

In addition, when sleeping too long during the day, the body has difficulty sleeping at night. As a result, the body will produce stress hormones (cortisol hormones). An increase in the hormone cortisol can cause an increase in blood sugar.

2. Metabolic disorders occur

Getting too much or too little sleep can increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition where there are multiple health disorders.

A person experiences metabolic disorders if they experience at least three of the five conditions, namely hypertension, low HDL cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, high blood sugar levels, and accumulation of fat in the abdomen.

A study was conducted in Korea involving around 113 thousand men and women aged 40 to 69 years.

This study states that people who sleep too much (above 10 hours a day) experience metabolic syndrome, including having high blood sugar.

Sleep duration has an impact on the production of hormones that regulate appetite and how much energy is produced and consumed.

Naps can improve concentration and restore energy, but they must be used judiciously. It’s best to take no more than 30 minutes of naps a day for maximum benefit.

In addition, you are advised to get enough sleep, which is 7-8 hours at night. Don’t forget to always maintain your diet and exercise every day to keep blood sugar levels normal.

  1. Cohut, Maria. 2018. Metabolic Risk Tied To Both Too Much And Too Little Sleep. (Accessed January 6, 2023).
  2. Laskey, Jen. 2017. Why Does Type 2 Diabetes Make You Feel So Tired? (Accessed January 6, 2023).
  3. Parocki, Jonathan. 2013. Circadian Clock Linked To Obesity, Diabetes And Heart Attacks. (Accessed January 6, 2023).
  4. Sunni, Eric. 2022. Circadian Rhythm. (Accessed January 6, 2023).
  5. Wang, Hao, et al. 2021. Association Of Daytime Napping In Relation To Risk Of Diabetes: Evidence From A Prospective Study In Zhejiang, China. (Accessed January 6, 2023).

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