The Sleep + Obesity Diabetes Connection


By Staff Reports

(DGIwire)  Everyone knows what a poor night’s sleep feels like: headaches, irritability, heavy eyelids and sluggishness are common symptoms. However, chronic sleep deprivation—three or more months of irregular sleep patterns—can have much more harmful and lasting effects. According to a study published by the U.S. Institute of Medicine Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research, prolonged lack of sleep coupled with obesity is a recipe for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Regular sleep is vital for maintaining healthy metabolism; when sleep patterns are disrupted, so too is the body’s natural rhythm and its ability to efficiently break down carbohydrates. With diabetes, the body either resists the effects of insulin—the hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in cells—or insufficient insulin is produced to maintain a normal blood sugar level.  The majority of research is pointing to the human body requiring a solid eight hours of sleep for optimal health and well being, and this appears to be equally good advice for diabetics.

While sleep in addition to a healthy, low sugar diet should always be first priority for all of us, including pre-diabetics and diabetics, some diabetic patients may require medication to keep their sugar levels under control.  There are a variety of options that physicians can consider and several new therapeutics under development that may one day be options.  One of the innovative new drugs under development is based on complex carbohydrate chemistry:  Boston Therapeutic’s therapeutic that is currently in clinical trials under that name BTI320, is a non-toxic, chewable compound designed to reduce the elevation of sugar spikes that occur after meals when taken with metformin and other diabetes drugs.

In a Phase IIa study last year, 45 percent of Type 2 diabetes patients taking metformin and other diabetes drugs responded to BTI320 with a 40 percent reduction of post-meal glucose in the blood. More research is necessary, but certainly, today, there should be nothing preventing us from helping our health…with a good night’s sleep.


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