Day napping and short night sleeping are associated with higher risk of diabetes in older adults

Diabetes Care. 2010 Jan;33(1):78-83. doi: 10.2337/dc09-1143. Epub 2009 Oct 13.


Objective: To examine whether day napping or short night sleeping is associated with higher risk of diabetes.

Research design and methods: This was a prospective study of hours of day napping and night sleeping assessed in 1996-1997 in relation to diabetes diagnosed between 2000 and 2006 (n = 10,143) among 174,542 participants in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CI were derived from multivariate logistic regression models.

Results: Longer day napping was associated with a higher risk of diabetes. After adjustment for potential confounders, ORs were 1.23 (95% CI 1.18-1.29) for those reporting <1 h and 1.55 (95% CI 1.45-1.66) for those reporting > or =1 h of napping compared with individuals who did not nap (P(trend) < 0.0001). For night sleeping, with 7-8 h as the referent, the OR was 1.46 (95% CI 1.31-1.63) for <5 h, 1.11 (1.06-1.16) for 5-6 h, and 1.11 (0.99-1.24) for > or =9 h. In both analyses, additional adjustment for BMI only modestly attenuated the associations. Further analysis showed a statistically significant interaction between hours of napping and sleeping on diabetes (P(interaction) < 0.0001). Among participants with no napping, only short night sleeping was associated with higher occurrence of diabetes, whereas among those with > or =1 h of napping, both long and short sleeping was associated with higher risk.

Conclusions: Day napping and short night sleeping are associated with higher risk of diabetes. The association between sleep duration and diabetes may be modified by napping habit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications*
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology