Your sleep cycle could determine your risk of diabetes – study

Diabetes UK show how to test feet for diabetic feet sensitivity

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Type 2 diabetes is widely understood as a lifelong condition caused by poor diet. Once diagnosed, meticulous blood sugar control is required to prevent the onset of further complications, which include amputation and death. According to new findings, sleep cycles may be an important predictor of a person’s diabetes risk.

A new study published in the journal of Experimental Physiology has identified ways in which wake/sleep cycles alter the body’s preferences for energy sources.

According to the findings, staying up late at night could reduce the body’s ability to use fat for energy.

This could result in a build-up of fat in the body, which in turn may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular complications.

The researchers identified a correlation between early birds and greater reliance on fat as an energy source, and more activity during the day.

Early risers also appeared to have greater levels of aerobic fitness than night owls, who use less fat for energy at rest and during exercise.

Aerobic fitness has many health benefits. It is inextricably linked with greater cardio-metabolic health, as it increases metabolism, aids weight loss and lowers blood pressure.

This makes it particularly beneficial for people with diabetes.

The insulin resistance observed in night owls, on the other hand, is problematic because it impaired their ability to respond to insulin to promote fuel use.

The researchers have called for further investigation to probe the cause of the shift in metabolic preference between early birds and night owls.

Professor Steven Malin, the senior author of the study, from Rutgers University, said: “The differences in fat metabolism between ‘early birds’ and ‘night owls’ shows that our body’s circadian rhythm could affect how our bodies use insulin.

“A sensitive or impaired ability to respond to the insulting hormone has major implications for our health.

“This observation advances our understanding of how our body’s circadian rhythms impact our health.”

Because chronotype appears to impact metabolism and hormone action, the researcher suggests that chronotype could be used as a factor to predict an individual’s disease risk.

He continued: “We also found that early birds are more physically active and have higher fitness levels than night owls who are sedentary throughout the day.

“Further research is needed to examine the link between chronotype, exercise, and metabolic adaptation to identify whether exercising earlier in the day has greater health benefits.”

How to prevent type 2 diabetes

There is substantial evidence that a lot can be done to reduce a person’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, weight loss is an important preventive measure.

The health body recommends people who are overweight to aim to lose five to seven percent of their starting weight.

This could be helped by getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week.

Reducing the number of calories consumed each day, is also advised.

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