Diabetes Prevention

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Story Updated: Jun 20, 2013

Men, listen up. Lowering your risk of Type 2 diabetes may be as easy as catching enough ZZZs.

In a small study, researchers followed 19 non-diabetic men who said they were sleep deprived during the work week only getting about 6 hours of shut-eye a night. But they regularly caught up on their days off.

The men were all asked to spend two of their weekends in a lab where they were randomly assigned to different sleep conditions.

At the end of each test period, the researchers drew blood to calculate insulin sensitivity that's the body's ability to use the hormone insulin to clear glucose or sugar from the bloodstream.

The body of a patient with Type 2 diabetes cannot effectively use the insulin it produces, or it becomes "resistant" to it.

The results showed that when the men were given three consecutive nights of catch-up sleep, their bodies' were much better at clearing glucose than when they were sleep restricted or deprived.

The researchers say the good news here is that simply extending sleep can improve insulin sensitivity and help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the latest breakthroughs from the world of medicine.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com