Men who regularly lost out on a full night’s sleep during the week improved their insulin sensitivity by sleeping for several extra hours over the weekend, the study showed.
The findings, presented at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, suggest the extra rest could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Researchers recruited 19 non-diabetic men who on average slept 6.2 hours per night during the week and caught up with about 2.3 extra hours of sleep at weekends.
The men spent weekend nights in a ‘sleep lab’ on two occasions. Some had 10 hours of normal sleep, some had 10 hours interrupted and others were restricted to six hours of sleep. All of the men ate the same diet.
Researchers found that after three nights, those sleeping 10 hours had much better insulin sensitivity than those on restricted sleep. Insulin resistance also decreased as the men caught up on missed sleep.
Lead researcher Dr Peter Liu of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute said: ‘The good news is, by extending their sleep, adult men – who over a long period of time do not get enough sleep in the working week – can improve their insulin sensitivity.’