Experts are forever telling us that we should be getting the right amount of sleep. But how much is enough? Most sleep researchers say you should aim for seven or eight hours, but what if you regularly get less?
You don't have to be a genius to realise not getting enough sleep is bad for you - nobody likes that running-on-empty feeling. But regularly getting six hours or less a night could put you at risk of developing diabetes, say scientists from the University of Warwick.
To be precise, getting less than six hours a night could make you three times more likely to develop a condition called incident-impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG).
So what exactly is IFG? According to the Warwick-based experts, if you have IFG it means your body can't regulate the glucose in your system as efficiently as it should. And that means you might have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes (IFG is what's known as a pre-diabetic state).
Not just that, but you'll be more likely to develop heart disease and stroke too.
Published in the Annals of Epidemiology journal, the study is the latest in a long line of reports on sleep and health, but it is the first to look at the link between sleep duration and IFG. The researchers don't know exactly why not getting enough sleep causes IFG, but they think it could be something to do with decreased glucose tolerance.
Do you find it difficult to get enough sleep? If so, how does it affect you?