Lack of sleep may cause type 2 diabetes in women – study

Latest research shows that women with sleep problems have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The 10-year study by Harvard University in the US focused on 133 353 women with sleep problems such as difficulties falling or staying asleep and sleep apnoea. The study group included women shift workers and concluded that at least 45% of all these women stood a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes compared to others.

SA Nutritional Consultant, Vanessa Ascencao says sleep is as important as eating and breathing and sleep deprivation can have a detrimental impact on mental and physical health.

“During sleep, the body produces proteins that help repair cell damage. Sufficient sleep also helps the body function optimally,” said Ascencao.

“Sleep deprivation may lead to increased hunger or prompt people to choose unhealthy food. It also leads to overtiredness, decrease in physical activity, a lowered body temperature and compromised immunity. Lack of sleep may also slow down the rate at which calories are burned. There is growing evidence that insufficient sleep may contribute to obesity, diabetes, cognitive dysfunction, depression, heart disease and colds and flu,” added Ascencao.

She said improved sleep helps boost brain function, improves mood and enhances the overall quality of life.


Ascencao suggests the following tips for improved sleep:

  • Sleep for at least eight hours a night.
  • Avoid bright screens within two hours of bedtime.
  • Set a consistent bedtime and stick to it.
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day or at night.
  • Ensure your room is dark and cool.
  • Follow a nutritious and balanced diet and avoid excess sugar and caffeine.
  • Avoid big meals within two hours of bed.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
  • Yoga, low impact exercises and relaxation techniques like stretching and deep breathing help promote sleep.
  • Try supplementing with potent superfood and multi-nutrient Marcus Rohrer Spirulina for immunity, energy and overall health. Spirulina is clinically proven to help balance blood sugar levels which is essential for better-quality sleep.


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