Does Insufficient Sleep Increase the Risk of Developing Insulin Resistance: A Systematic Review

Cureus. 2022 Mar 26;14(3):e23501. doi: 10.7759/cureus.23501. eCollection 2022 Mar.


It has been recommended that adults sleep a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night to maintain holistic health and well-being. A considerable fraction of the adult population suffers from sleep deprivation and related disorders. The stress of modern-day living may be the cause of this curtailment of sleep duration. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of reduced sleep on the development of insulin resistance and explore the possible mechanisms linking the two. We utilized databases like such as PubMed, PubMed Central (PMC), and Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE) to systematically screen papers using keywords and Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms. A few articles were also retrieved from Cochrane Library. We applied inclusion/exclusion criteria after screening papers via title and abstracts. A quality appraisal check was doneperformed, and ten 10 related studies were strictly reviewed. Short sleep duration was significantly associated with insulin resistance. Inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA), biomarkers such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and circadian misalignment may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of this association. To prevent metabolic complications such as type- 2 diabetes, adequate sleep (more than seven hours per night) is required in the adult population. The causal relationship between sleep deprivation and insulin resistance is multifactorial, and further studies are warranted to understand these mechanisms better.

Keywords: glucose intolerance; insomnia; insulin resistance; prediabetes; short sleep; sleep deprivation.

Publication types

  • Review