Better Nutrition - - TREND WATCH -

Sci­en­tists have long rec­og­nized a link be­tween lack of sleep and in­sulin re­sis­tance, and now re­searchers from Har­bor- UCLA Med­i­cal Cen­ter may have dis­cov­ered a bi­o­log­i­cal rea­son for this link— at least, in men.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search pre­sented at ENDO 2018, the an­nual meet­ing of the En­docrine So­ci­ety, lack of sleep cre­ates an im­bal­ance in testos­terone and cor­ti­sol hor­mones in men. “Our highly con­trolled sleep study showed that even one night of re­stricted sleep can cause in­sulin re­sis­tance, and that we can dampen this ef­fect by con­trol­ling lev­els of these two im­por­tant hor­mones,” said se­nior in­ves­ti­ga­tor Peter Y. Liu, PhD.

Liu and his fel­low re­searchers con­ducted five nights of sleep stud­ies in 34 healthy men with an av­er­age age of 33. They con­trolled what the sub­jects ate and how much they slept, giv­ing them 10 hours of sleep the first night and re­strict­ing them to four hours of sleep the re­main­ing nights. The men were also given ei­ther “dual- clamp” med­i­ca­tions that con­trolled their lev­els of testos­terone and cor­ti­sol, or a placebo.

Af­ter sleep re­stric­tion, all of the men in the study showed greater in­sulin re­sis­tance. But this in­crease was sig­nif­i­cantly damp­ened with the dual- clamp reg­i­men, demon­strat­ing that testos­terone and cor­ti­sol re­duced the neg­a­tive ef­fects of sus­tained sleep re­stric­tion on in­sulin re­sis­tance.

“Main­tain­ing hor­monal bal­ance could pre­vent meta­bolic ill health oc­cur­ring in in­di­vid­u­als who do not get enough sleep,” Liu said. “Un­der­stand­ing these hor­monal mech­a­nisms could lead to new treat­ments or strate­gies to pre­vent in­sulin re­sis­tance due to in­suf­fi­cient sleep.”

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