Duration, Poor Quality of Sleep Associated with Increased Risk for Diabetes


The investigative team observed a U-shaped relationship between sleep duration and incident diabetes, with the greatest risk when sleep duration was ≥10 hours per day.

person sleeping in bed | Credit: Adobe Stock

Credit: Adobe Stock

New research indicates fewer than 6 hours or more than 10 hours of sleep, as well as poor quality of sleep, is associated with a greater risk for diabetes.1

The findings, presented at ENDO 2023 in Chicago, Illinois, aimed to explore the longitudinal effects of poor sleep, as both the quantity and quality and the impact on the risk for diabetes or obesity have been previously studied.

“Most previous studies did not examine changes in various glycometabolic parameters, like over 14 years,” Wonjin Kim, MD, PhD, from CHA Gangnam Medical Center and an associate professor at CHA University School of Medicine. “The pattern of changes in various glycemic parameters may provide clues to the mechanism underlying the association between sleep duration and incident diabetes mellitus.”

A review of the PubMed database from inception through January 2021 revealed patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) had a greater prevalence of sleep disorders, including insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome when compared with the general population.2 Multiple cross-sectional and prospective studies identified in the review showed the presence of sleep disorders was associated with negative health outcomes, including glycemic control. The analysis showed insomnia was associated with increased HbA1c and fasting glucose, as well as increased risk of depressive symptoms, in patients with T2D.

In the current analysis, the investigative team collected data from 8,816 of 10,030 healthy participants of the ongoing Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES)-Ansung and Ansan Cohort Study. Kim and colleagues identified diabetes cases and sleep duration and quality. In doing so, the analysis categorized sleep duration into 4 groups: <6 hours, 6 - 7 hours, 8 - 9 hours, or 9 hours per day.

Quality of sleep was measured among those with a sleep duration of <10 hours per day. Throughout the 14-year follow-up period, 1630 (18%) of the 8,816 participants were diagnosed with diabetes. In the analysis, investigators found a U-shaped relationship between sleep duration and incident diabetes, with the greatest risk when the duration of sleep was ≥10 hours per day.

During the study, participants additionally showed a decreased insulin glucogenic index, which is a marker of insulin secretory function. Moreover, the analysis found the risk for incident diabetes increased among study participants who slept <10 hours per day when their Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score was >10.

“Even if sleep duration is less than 10 hours, the likelihood of developing diabetes is greater when quality of sleep decreases,” Kim said.


  1. Duration and poor quality of sleep associated with greater risk for diabetes. Newswise. June 8, 2023. Accessed June 15, 2023. https://www.newswise.com/faseb/duration-and-poor-quality-of-sleep-associated-with-greater-risk-for-diabetes/.
  2. Campbell P. Patients with diabetes at increased risk of sleep disorders, could increase complications risk. HCP Live. August 19, 2021. Accessed June 15, 2023. https://www.hcplive.com/view/diabetes-at-increased-risk-of-sleep-disorders-could-increase-complications-risk.
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