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Afternoon Napping Tied to Increased Risk for Diabetes

Oct 3, 2013

Longer afternoon napping may be a risk factor for developing diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance…. 

Since afternoon napping is very common in China, Fang et al. conducted a study to determine if the duration of a person’s nap affected their risk for developing diabetes or an impaired fasting blood glucose.

The study consisted of 27,009 participants of Chinese descent who underwent a physical exam, had blood tests, and were then interviewed. These participants were separated into four different groups depending on their nap duration (no napping, less than 30, 30 to 60, 60 to 90, and more than 90 min). Odds ratios were then calculated for each group to determine the likelihood of developing diabetes or an impaired fasting glucose (IFG).

Approximately 69% of the participants reported taking naps in the afternoon. When compared to the other groups, those in the longer napping groups (more than 60 mins) presented with a higher prevalence of IFG and diabetes. According to the researchers, "Napping duration was associated in a dose-dependent manner with IFG and DM."

In conclusion, regular afternoon napping of more than 60 minutes a day is associated with a slight increased risk for diabetes.

Fang W, et al. Longer habitual afternoon napping is associated with a higher risk for impaired fasting plasma glucose and diabetes mellitus in older adults: results from the Dongfeng-Tongji cohort of retired workers. Sleep Med. 2013;14(10):950-4. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2013.04.015. Epub 2013 Jul 3.