Night Owls With Type 2 Diabetes Have Higher Depression Risk

| April 21, 2017

As I mentioned in my last blog post, people with diabetes are more likely to become depressed. Now, two new studies from Bangkok University show that people with type 2 diabetes who are night owls are at even higher risk of depression – and that night shift workers have poorer blood sugar control than people who are active during the day.

In the first study, researchers looked at two different populations, in Chicago and Thailand, to rule out any influences from geography and climate. Nearly 500 people with type 2 diabetes filled in questionnaires about their quality of sleep, night-time and morning activity patterns and symptoms of depression. Analysis of their responses showed that people in both locations who were active at night had more symptoms of depression than those who went to bed early and got up with the lark.1

The second study used the medical records of 260 people with type 2 diabetes, who had varying working schedules – including daytime workers, night shift workers and people who did not have a job. The results showed significant differences in glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C) levels, which provide a good indication of blood sugar control over the previous two to three months.2

The night shift workers had an average HbA1c of 66.1 mmol/mol (8.2%), compared to 59.6 mmol/mol (7.6%) for daytime workers and 58.5 mmol/mol (7.5%) for those who were unemployed. Other results showed that, on average, night shift workers also got less sleep, consumed more calories and had a higher body mass index (BMI) than people in the other two groups.

As I explained here, our internal body clocks regulate the production of adrenal gland hormones that play an important role in blood sugar control. Not getting enough sleep, or sleeping during the daytime instead of at night, upsets this natural cycle of hormone production, resulting in poorer blood sugar control and mood problems.

In my next blog post, I report on shock findings that long-term use of the standard type 2 diabetes drug metformin increases the risks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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1. Saetung S, Hood MM, Nimitphone H et al. Later chronotype is associated with greater depressive symptoms in type 2 diabetes patients: a study in two different ethnic cohorts. Presented at the 99th Meeting of The Endocrine Society, Orlando, Florida; April 1-3, 2017. Abstract OR11-3.

2. Manodpitipong A, Saetung S, Nimitphong H. Sleep and glycemic control in shift workers with type 2 diabetes. Presented at the 99th Meeting of The Endocrine Society, Orlando, Florida; April 1-3, 2017. Abstract MON 636.

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