In Anti-Aging Secrets for Maximum Lifespan, by Dr. Ronald Klatz, the author writes that studies at the University of Chicago have shown a lack of sleep can affect the body's ability to burn carbohydrates. When you get only four hours of sleep a night for several nights, your blood sugar (glucose) will rise much higher after breakfast. Researchers found that glucose levels don't rise as high with nine hours of sleep.
In addition, glucose metabolism, the rate at which glucose clears the bloodstream, has been found to be 40 percent slower in the sleep-deprived state. This sluggish sugar metabolism is probably the result of elevations of the stress hormone cortisol, which occurs with lack of sleep. Cortisol also plays a role in regulating blood sugar.
Researchers suggest that a chronic sleep deficit of a couple of hours a night may make your body more vulnerable to certain blood-sugar disorders and could possibly accelerate the onset of type-2 diabetes.
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