The Week in Sleep News: March 22, 2024

Scientists may have made a blood test that can indicate whether you're sleep deprived.

Two people sitting up in bed reading newspapers. Text reads: Sleep News Week of March 22, 2024

This week in sleep news…

Not getting enough sleep might raise your risk of diabetes

A new study suggests that people who sleep fewer than six hours increase their chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, looked at data from 247,000 adults in the UK biobank, with data collected between 2006 and 2010, and then divided them into groups based on whether they slept a normal amount (seven to eight hours) or increasingly short durations of sleep, including six, five, or three to four hours daily. Researchers also analyzed participants’ dietary habits and ranked them on a scale from zero (unhealthiest) to five (healthiest). The findings showed that participants who slept fewer than six hours had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes regardless of the quality of their diet.

Blood test could indicate whether you’re sleep-deprived

A simple blood test may soon be able to gauge whether you’re sleep-deprived. A study published in Science Advances shares that researchers found a metabolic biomarker (a biological molecule found in blood) of sleep deprivation that they tested in the blood of healthy volunteers. This biomarker detected whether individuals had been awake for 24 hours with a 99.2% accuracy when compared to their own well-rested sample. When a single sample was considered without the well-rested comparison (similar to a diagnostic blood test), it dropped to 89.1%. The scientists in this study hope this test can be used to cut down on sleep-deprivation-related accidents.

In fun sleep news…

It’s well documented that sleep affects performance. Portland Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton attributes some of his early-season challenges to poor sleep. Speaking to the media late last week, Ayton said that prioritizing sleep played a role in his turnaround. “I didn’t have a bed for quite some time,” Ayton explained. “I was on an air mattress.”

In a recent interview with The Strategist, actress Eva Mendes shared that her sound machine is a constant travel companion. In a list of thing Mendes can’t live without, she shared that she loves her white noise machine so much that she has multiple. Originally, she used the machine to help her children go to sleep when they were babies and then never looked back. “I used it for both my babies to get them through those really tough first four months. Then I realized it was really helping me as well,” she told the publication.