Lengthy, daytime naps could mean more than you’re tired from work, school, or life.
Snoozing for more than an hour a day could be an early warning sign of type-2 diabetes, Japanese researchers are suggesting. They came to their findings after analyzing studies including over 300,000 participants.
This coincides with U.K. experts citing people with long-term illness, and undiagnosed diabetes, reported feeling extra tired in the daytime. That being said, there’s no link that associates napping as a cause of increasing the risk of diabetes.
The study, conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Tokyo, will be presented at a meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Munich.
Probably the most glaring figure is the link between daytime naps surpassing 60 minutes, with a 45% increased risk of type-2 diabetes. The contrast between no daytime is sharp – there’s zero link with naps sub-40 minutes.
The researchers pointed to restless nights of sleep, from disorders like sleep apnea, as a cause for extra daytime snoozing. Sleeping disorders like these can increase the chance of heart attacks, stroke, and other metabolic disorders, including type-2 diabetes.
Interestingly, short naps were a benefit to the body; they were found to increase alertness and motor skills.
Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, feels the evidence is sufficient to conclude there is a strong relationship between sleep disruption and diabetes.
“It’s likely that risk factors which lead to diabetes also cause napping. This could include slightly high sugar levels, meaning napping may be an early warning sign of diabetes,” he explained.
Other specialists, like Dr. Benjamin Cairns, from the cancer epidemiology unit at the University of Oxford, still believe this information should be taken with a grain of salt, despite the rather large studies and data readily available.
“In general, it is not possible to make conclusions about cause and effect based on observational studies alone, because usually they cannot rule out alternative explanations for their findings,” he said.