The time when you go to sleep each night affects your risk of diabetes.

More about bedtime and diabetes

There has been a lot of research that links lack of sleep with obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Usually, this research is focused on the average amount of sleep that people get, rather than daily changes in sleep schedules. However, this study found that people who do not go to bed at the same time every night have a significantly higher risk of developing health problems like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

In fact, more irregular sleep schedules are linked to higher risk of diabetes regardless of whether someone has good or poor sleep duration and sleep quality. Even more, if someone only sleeps a few hours one night, it cannot be counteracted by a longer amount of sleep on other nights. The important thing is regularity in bedtime from one night to the next. For example, this study found that people with varied bedtimes from one night to the next for 60 to 90 minutes were 14% more likely to have metabolic syndrome (this includes obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes). For people whose bedtimes varied by 90 minutes or more, their risk jumped to 58% for metabolic syndrome. The reason that consistent bedtime is so important has to do with our biological clocks. For example, if someone is sleeping at different times and for different lengths of time every day, then their internal clock might have a harder time staying in sync, which can lead to major health problems down the road.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Other recommendations for getting quality sleep include setting a consistent bedtime, sleeping in a dark room without electronics, and avoiding big meals, alcohol, and caffeine before bedtime.

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