Diabetes: are you a night owl? Your health may well suffer

Diabetes are you a night owl Your health may well

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    A new study establishes a direct link between the time of going to bed, getting up and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. People who live more at night would also be the most exposed.

    If the future belongs to those who get up early, it would seem that good health too. In any case, this is what a new American study published in the journal Experimental Physiology. According to the Rutgers University research team, falling asleep at late hours increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease.

    A study conducted on 51 people

    To reach this conclusion, the team conducted a study on 51 adults suffering from metabolic syndrome, ie excess fat in the belly. The participants were then divided into two groups: night owls and early risers, according to their natural chronotype, ie their natural propensity to sleep and be active at different times.

    For an entire week, the patients were also put on a calorie-restricted diet and an overnight fast. Carbohydrate and fat oxidation were tested at rest before two daily workouts.

    The scientists used advanced imaging to assess the volunteers’ body mass and composition, as well as their insulin sensitivity. Breath samples were also collected to accurately measure fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

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    Night owls more at risk of developing diabetes

    The week-long study demonstrated two trends in the subjects assessed:

    • On the one hand, early risers who were therefore more active during the day used more fat for energy than night owls, both at rest and during the practice of a sporting activity.
    • On the other hand, night owls were found to be more insulin resistant, which underlines that their body needs more insulin to lower blood sugar. In this context, their body generally favors carbohydrates as a source of energy over fats. Problem: it is this insulin resistance that is generally associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.

    This result establishes a real gap between the different chronotypes, but deserves further investigation. According to Steven K. Malin, lead author of this research: “Differences in fat metabolism between early risers and late risers show that our body’s circadian rhythm (wake/sleep cycle) may affect how our bodies use insulin. Further research is needed to examine the link between chronotype, sports activity and metabolic adaptation”.

    In the meantime, maybe you should start getting up a little earlier…