Plus, why you should be extra cautious if you also have type-2 diabetes.
Researchers surveyed nearly 500 people suffering from diabetes in Chicago and Thailand. They included vastly different geographic areas in the study because sleep cycles vary by location. In both groups, night owls—or people who preferred to stay up late—reported experiencing more symptoms of depression than those who fell asleep earlier, regardless of their age, sex, or sleep quality (Having trouble snoozing peacefully? Here are five ways to sleep better every night).
The relationship doesn’t necessarily prove cause-and-effect, the researchers say, but all three conditions are already intertwined: Skimping on shuteye alone raises your risk for diabetes, and sleep disturbances are also one of the most common signs of depression, research suggests.
“These findings are important because depression is common in patients with type-2 diabetes,” said lead study author Sirimon Reutrakul, M.D., an associate professor at Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand, said in a press release. “Also, previous studies show that untreated depression is related to worse patient outcomes, including diabetes self-care, blood glucose control, and diabetes complications.”
Further research needs to be done to better understand how sleep, depression, and diabetes all affect one another, so proper treatments for all three can be improved, the researchers say.
And whether you have type-2 diabetes or not, depression is not something to take lightly. Plus, your lack of sleep may be your first clue that something more serious than the blues is at play. Here’s what you can do if you think you may be noticing symptoms of depression.