(HealthDay News) – For men with chronic, intermittent sleep restriction, three nights of weekend sleep extension correlate with improved insulin sensitivity, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, held from June 15–18 in San Francisco.

Roo Killick, M.B.B.S., from the University of Sydney, and colleagues conducted a study involving 19 men (mean age, 28.6 years) with at least a six-month history of lifestyle-driven, restricted sleep during the working week with regular weekend sleep extensions. Participants completed an in-laboratory, randomized cross-over study involving two of three conditions: 10 hours of sleep; six hours of sleep; and 10 hours of time in bed with acoustic stimuli driving slow wave sleep suppression. The condition was repeated over three weekend nights and insulin sensitivity was measured on the fourth morning.

The researchers found that following three nights of sleep extension, insulin sensitivity improved, compared with persisting sleep restriction. There were decreases seen in fasting insulin, c-peptide, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and HOMA-B, while an increase was seen in the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index with sleep extension. Slow wave sleep suppression did not alter insulin sensitivity.

“The good news is that by extending the hours they sleep, adult men – who over a long period of time do not get enough sleep during the working week – can still improve their insulin sensitivity,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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