Prediabetes is a condition where a person is at a high risk of developing diabetes. In 2015, there were 81.4 million people in the U.S. who had prediabetes, according to statistics from the American Diabetes Association. With prediabetes being a prevalent issue, it’s important to understand just what can cause prediabetes to develop into full-blown diabetes. A recent study published in Diabetic Medicine helps shed some light on how lack of sleep is very detrimental to prediabetics.

For the study, researchers analyzed the data of nearly 18,000 adults who were prediabetic during a three-year period. They assessed their progression from prediabetes to diabetes, and the average amount of sleep they got. The average likelihood of prediabetes turning into diabetes ranges from 5-10%. They found that those who slept five or less hours were 68% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than average. Those who slept six hours a night were 44% more likely to progress to diabetes compared to the average risk a prediabetic has.

This correlation remained the same even after adjusting for demographic factors. They found some evidence to suggest that fatty liver exasperates the connection between sleep and diabetes. There is need for further research before saying that connection is certain. The bottom line, lack of sleep is bad for the development of diabetes in prediabetics and is an area that needs discussion with them when planning strategies to reduce their risk of developing diabetes.


Kim, C.‐W., Y. Chang, E. Sung, and S. Ryu. "Sleep Duration and Progression to Diabetes in People with Prediabetes Defined by HbA1c Concentration." Diabetic Medicine. Vol. 34, Issue 11, pp. 1591–1598

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