Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

The Diabetes and Sleep Connection

Too little sleep can raise your diabetes risk. If you already have diabetes, sleep loss can undermine blood sugar control.
WebMD Feature

It's past midnight. You're out of clean clothes, and you haven't finished that report for work. Though the alarm clock will ring in six hours, you cram in a load of laundry and spend another bleary-eyed hour at the computer. It's the only way to stay on top of a busy life, right? While skimping on sleep may seem like a good idea in the short run, it can have serious long-term consequences. Scientists warn that too little shut-eye may raise type 2 diabetes risks. And if you already have diabetes, sleep deprivation may undermine your blood sugar control.

Most adults require 7-8 hours of sleep per night to feel well rested, according to the National Institutes of Health. Of course, some people require more sleep, while others can get by on less. But many of us build up a sleep debt by routinely getting only 5-6 hours a night.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

A 3-Step Plan for Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment

If you have diabetes, you may already have experienced the nerve pain called diabetic neuropathy. If so, diabetic neuropathy treatment is important. Some symptoms are obvious: pain in your feet. But more subtle signs of neuropathy are just as critical to notice - and to treat. "We ask whether people are having unusual tingling or numbness," says Dace L. Trence, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Those symptoms...

Read the A 3-Step Plan for Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment article > >

If you're among the legions of sleep-deprived Americans, take steps now to improve your sleep and well-being, experts advise.

"Sleep is an important factor for your health, as much as diet and exercise," says University of Chicago researcher Kristen Knutson, PhD, who has studied sleep and diabetes.

Diabetes and Sleep: What's the Connection?

In the past decade, there has been growing evidence that too little sleep can affect hormones and metabolism in ways that promote diabetes, Knutson tells WebMD.

She cites a 1999 Lancet study by colleagues at the University of Chicago. The researchers monitored the blood sugar levels of 11 healthy young men who were allowed only four hours of sleep per night -- from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. -- for six nights.

"That study showed that after only a week of short bedtimes, their glucose tolerance was impaired. There could be dramatic effects even after only a week," according to Knutson

After 6 nights of little sleep, the men had higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. (The levels were not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, however). The effects went away once the men were back on their normal sleep schedule.

Experts also believe that chronic sleep deprivation may lead to elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Elevated cortisol may in turn promote insulin resistance, in which the body can't use the hormone insulin properly to help move glucose into cells for energy.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner