Why Sleep Deprivation May Cause Diabetes

Find out why a lack of Zzzs can hurt your health.

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Arianna Huffington on Why Sleep Is So Important (3:22)

new study from the University of Arizona in Tuscon has found that those of us who can't seem to fall asleep are the most likely to indulge in late-night junk food binges. Along with adding unnecessary calories to your daily diet and potentially causing weight gain, rummaging in the pantry after dark can also increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. 

The study's co-author, Michael A. Grandner, used phone-based surveys to analyze the sleep and diet findings in 3,105 adults across the country. Around sixty percent of the participants said they regularly snack late at night and two-thirds of the group added that sleeplessness is the main driving force for their snacking. Grandner and his team also found that those who reported having junk food cravings were at a heightened risk of developing diabetes. While more research is required to determine exactly why sleeplessness is linked to late-night snacking and why eating before bed can play a role in the development of metabolic conditions, this research does shine a light on a growing problem. 

According to the American Sleep Association, around 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. are currently living with some type of sleep disorder. Since a lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on metabolic health, it is all the more important to improve sleep habits to not only maintain a healthy weight but potentially prevent serious illnesses as well. 

Related:

9 Reasons You're Not Getting Enough Sleep 

The Ultimate Sleep Quiz

9 Healthy Junk Food Alternatives