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Individual Differences in Diabetes Risk: Role of Sleep Disturbances

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Annual rept. 15 Jul 2007-14 Jul 2008

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Chronic partial sleep loss, due to bedtime restriction, is a hallmark of modern society and highly prevalent in active duty army personnel. During the past few years, evidence from laboratory and epidemiological studies has indicated that decreased sleep duration has an adverse effect on glucose regulation and on the neuroendocrine control of appetite 1-3. Taken together, the findings suggest that chronic partial sleep deprivation may be involved in the current epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Our group has strong evidence for the existence of large individual differences in metabolic as well as cognitive vulnerability to sleep loss. We have recently obtained preliminary data in a small group of young men that suggest that a specific heritable trait of the sleep electroencephalogram EEG, known as slow-wave activity SWA, accounts for the majority of individual variability in the adverse effects of sleep loss on diabetes risk. The objectives are to identify SWA as a predictor of diabetes risk in a subject population with a gender, ethnic and age distribution similar to that of active duty army personnel and to test the hypothesis that individuals with low SWA are at much higher risk to develop diabetes following chronic partial sleep restriction than those with higher SWA. The studies will also explore the potential relationships between individual differences in diabetes risk following sleep loss and individual differences in risk of weight gain and in the magnitude of cognitive deficits.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology

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