Association of sleep duration with type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance

Diabetologia. 2007 Nov;50(11):2298-304. doi: 10.1007/s00125-007-0786-x. Epub 2007 Aug 24.


Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between sleep duration and type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

Methods: Anthropometric measurements and self-reported sleep duration were determined in a cross-sectional sample of 323 men and 417 women aged 21-64 years from the Quebec Family Study. Glucose homeostasis indicators were compared between short (5-6 h), 'normal' (7-8 h) and long (9-10 h) sleeper groups.

Results: Using adults with 7-8 h of sleep as a reference, the adjusted odds ratio for type 2 diabetes/IGT was 1.58 (1.13-2.31) for those with 9-10 h of sleep and 2.09 (1.34-2.98) for those with 5-6 h of sleep, after adjustment for potential confounding variables. The short and long sleepers presented significantly higher total insulin AUC (p < 0.05), whereas total glucose AUC was not different between the three sleeper groups in both sexes. The mean glucose area below fasting glucose concentrations was significantly higher in short (p < 0.01) and long sleepers (p < 0.05) compared with 'normal' sleepers, and significantly higher in short (p < 0.05) compared with long sleepers in both sexes.

Conclusions/interpretation: The present study provides evidence that short- and long-duration sleep times are associated with type 2 diabetes/IGT in adults, even after adjustment for several confounders. These results also showed that the lower glucose concentrations at the end of the OGTT were observed in short sleepers. According to the glucostatic theory of appetite control, this represents a stimulus that can trigger episodes of hunger and spontaneous food intake, which may explain at least in part the greater risk of overweight displayed by short sleepers, as shown in previous studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Glucose Intolerance / genetics
  • Glucose Intolerance / physiopathology*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Whites


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin