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Catching up on lost sleep cuts the risk of diabetes

Catching up on lost sleep may be one way to reduce the risk of diabetes.

Scientists found that three nights of 'catch-up' sleep helped to clear sugar from the bloodstream.

Previous research has shown that restricting sleep can have a bad effect on insulin sensitivity.

Both studies appear to show a strong link between sleep and the body's use of insulin. A poor insulin response can result in type 2 diabetes.

Dr Peter Liu, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, said: "We all know we need to get adequate sleep, but that is often impossible. Our study found extending the hours of sleep can improve the body's use of insulin, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes."

Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar level. A person with type 2 diabetes becomes 'resistant' to insulin and stops responding to it properly.

The new research focused on 19 non-diabetic men who complained of not getting enough sleep during the working week.

hnews@ herald.ie