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We all know that not getting enough sleep can leave us feeling pretty rubbish in the morning. But whether a night of partying or insomnia is to blame, not getting enough shut eye for three days in a row can lead to more serious problems, including an increased risk of developing diabetes.

The research carried out by the University of Chicago looked at the levels of fatty acids in the blood and the impact on these when we’re sleep deprived.

"At the population level, multiple studies have reported connections between restricted sleep, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes," said Assistant professor of medicine, Dr Esra Tasali. 

The study looked at a group of healthy young men between the ages of 18-30 years-old. Researchers examined levels of fatty acids in the blood when they had over 7 hours of sleep and again when they had 4. The result was a significant loss of the benefits of insulin. This crucial hormone was less able to do its job.

"Insulin action in these healthy young men resembled what we typically see in early stages of diabetes" said study leader, Dr Josiane Broussard.

Researchers discovered that after just three nights of getting four hours of sleep, blood levels of fatty acids, which usually peak and then decrease overnight, remained high for many hours. While fatty acid levels in the blood remains high, the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars was reduced.


While the exact reasons behind the results still remain unclear, it’s thought that disruption to the body clock could upset our hormone levels and that may lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. 

So if you didn’t already need an excuse to get an early night, spending a little longer catching up on your beauty sleep can be beneficial to your health in more than one way.


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