If you fancy cat naps and think that they might be a handy way to circumvent the ill effects of too little sleep at night (see Sleeping Less Than 6 Hours a Night? Your Risk of Developing a Type 2 Precursor Is Nearly 5x Higher), think again: A British study of the napping habits of more than 16,000 people in China has concluded that taking a nap even once a week can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26 percent over people who never take naps.
Scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK, who reported their findings at the recent Diabetes UK’s Annual Professional Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, said several factors might be responsible for the contribution of naps to diabetes risk:
- People who take naps tend to get less exercise than non-nap takers. Regular exercise is a medically proven diabetes preventive.
- Naps often disrupt nighttime sleep by decreasing the number of hours a person sleeps, thereby leading to impaired glucose tolerance.
- Waking up from a nap temporarily impairs the body’s ability to use insulin effectively.