A team of scientists from Japan has found a link between daytime napping and Type 2 diabetes, especially for individuals who nap for more than an hour per day.
A daytime nap lasting more than one hour during daytime hours was shown to increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 45%, whereas shorter naps had no risk associated with it. These findings will be presented to the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Munich, Germany later this year.
How were the studies conducted?
Experts from Japan analyzed the data from 21 separate studies which involved more than 300 000 individuals from all over the world and managed to find an interesting link between daytime sleeping and the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Potential factors, such as age, weight, and financial settings were adjusted for, but the connection between daytime naps and insulin resistance were still certain, especially when it exceeded 60 minutes. In fact, they concluded that naps of less than 1 hour had no risks of developing the disease at all.
The authors of the study concluded that longer naps were closely associated with metabolic disorders and the dietary habits that lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Naveed Sattar, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasglow, says: “This observational study shows an association between longer naps and diabetes. It’s likely that the risk factors which lead to diabetes also cause napping. This could include slightly high sugar levels, meaning napping may be an early warning sign of diabetes.”
But aren’t power-naps good for you?
Short daytime naps are prevalent all around in the world and have been linked to having a significantly beneficial effect on overall health. It helps to regain energy and focus and has even been recommended for airline crew on long-haul flights. Anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes of napping has been proven to offer a host of health benefits, particularly by recharging the brain.
Researchers pointed out that getting sufficient sleep is as important as following a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise when it comes to being healthy.
“Short naps might have beneficial effects on diabetes, but further studies are needed to confirm this,” said one of the researchers.
Why are naps so popular?
Many people don’t get sufficient sleep at night due to factors relating to their social and work life, and therefore find ways to squeeze in a quick daytime snooze.
Researchers found that the frequency of naps varied from planned rest periods to occasional and spontaneous rest, while habitual nappers were found to have several short naps throughout the day. Other individuals were found to nap during the day due to diagnosed sleep disorders, but those cases were rare.
How prevalent is Type 2 diabetes?
Recent research showed that as much as 3.8 million adults in the UK now have diabetes, which includes approximately 950 000 undiagnosed cases.
This figure is expected to rise by an additional 4.9 million people by 2035, which means that 1 in 10 people will have it.
Only 10% of these figures represent the Type 1 diabetics, which means that 90% of all diabetic cases are linked to being overweight and are therefore largely preventable.
A healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and sufficient sleep at night with naps of no longer than 60 minutes during the day are what the doctor has ordered!