Sleep patterns change as we age, with older adults showing less slow-wave-sleep (SWS), the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep. Evidence suggests that loss of deep sleep is also common among obese adults, possibly due to sleep disordered breathing such as snoring and sleep apnea. A recent study of 9 healthy adults between the ages of 20-31 years of age at the University of Chicago, repeatedly disturbed the subjects as they entered deep sleep and their blood glucose levels revealed that their insulin sensitivity had reduced by 25% and that the reduction was more significant in those with the least amount of deep sleep. The results suggest that the loss of deep sleep may be associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Proc Natl.Acad Sci USA, 2008 Jan 22; 105(3); 1044-9. Epub 2008 Jan 2