Day napping and short night sleeping are associated with an elevated risk of diabetes among older adults, researchers reported in Diabetes Care (2009; published online ahead of print).
In a study of 174,542 participants (aged 50-71 at enrollment) in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a team led by Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C., found that, compared with individuals who did not nap, those reporting less than one hour and one or more hours of napping had a 16% and 36% higher risk of diabetes, respectively, after adjusting for potential confounders.
Subjects who slept less than five hours at night had a 34%, higher risk of diabetes, as compared with individuals who slept seven to eight hours (the reference group).
In addition, among subjects who reported no napping, only short night sleeping was associated with a higher occurrence of diabetes. Among those reporting one or more hour of day napping, both long and short sleeping was associated with a higher risk of diabetes.
“The association between sleep duration and diabetes may be modified by napping habit,” the authors concluded.