Sleep & Diabetes: Does the Risk Rise at Night?

By , Melissa Rudy, Health & Fitness Journalist

A new study published in Cell Metabolism shows that up to 30 percent of people could have a higher sensitivity to melatonin, the sleepiness-inducing hormone that reduces the production of insulin. This is caused by a change to a melatonin receptor gene—the MTNR1B gene—that reduces the amount of insulin released by the pancreas, which makes the person more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

It's important to note that MTNR1B isn't the only gene that makes people more susceptible to type 2 diabetes—in fact, there are hundreds. However, the study found that those with two copies of the gene have more melatonin receptors than those who have one or no copies.

During the study, non-diabetics were separated into two groups: One with the MTNR1B risk gene variant and one without. All participants took the same amount of a melatonin supplement every night. By the end of the three-month study period, the people who were lacking the risk gene had three times as much insulin as those who had it.

"We don't typically eat or are physically active at night, so our energy demands drop and we don't need maximum insulin secretion," says study author Hindrik Mulder of Lund University in Sweden and Leif Groop. "A likely explanation is that, as melatonin levels rise, they tell our beta cells not to release as much insulin."

This doesn't necessarily mean that people with MTNR1B can't ever take melatonin, but it does suggest that they might want to avoid prolonged use, according to authors of the study.

What do you think about the possible link between melatonin and type 2 diabetes?


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Comments

KOALA_BEAR 9/7/2019
I sometimes take melatonin for insomnia, used to use it frequently; now retired not so much. My A1C remains about the same so maybe I don't have that groups of gene's? Does that mean Drs should do genetic testing before suggesting or allowing patients to use melatonin or other drugs? Having allergies limits options. This article should open dialogue w/ one's medical professional but not scare people away from what helps them. Melatonin is safe in low dosages (1-3mg) & when used short-term. It loses effectiveness rapidly when taken daily for more than a month or 6 wks. There are other alternatives like valerian root, or upping one's magnesium intake (balanced w/ calcium & potassium.) Report
KOALA_BEAR 9/7/2019
I sometimes take melatonin for insomnia, used to use it frequently; now retired not so much. My A1C remains about the same so maybe I don't have that groups of gene's? Does that mean Drs should do genetic testing before suggesting or allowing patients to use melatonin or other drugs? Having allergies limits options. This article should open dialogue w/ one's medical professional but not scare people away from what helps them. Melatonin is safe in low dosages (1-3mg) & when used short- Report
KOALA_BEAR 9/7/2019
I sometimes take melatonin for insomnia, used to use it frequently; now retired not so much. My A1C remains about the same so maybe I don't have that groups of Gene's? Report
LEANJEAN6 7/1/2019
interesting info-thank-yu Report
NASFKAB 4/26/2019
Thank you Report
1CRAZYDOG 1/14/2019
Hmmmm . . . this is important information to me as a type 2 diabetic. Thank you. Report
BILLTHOMSON 12/9/2018
Interesting article. Report
Interesting. My husband has been taking melatonin regularly and his blood sugar has gone up. I will certainly be sharing this article with him. Report
Very interesting article, thanks! Report
Thanks for the interesting article! :) Report
Being diabetic 2, I am interested in any article about my disease and how I may control it Report
As a person with Type II and taking Melatonin on a nightly basis, I will be watching for more research. I'll also try chamomile and other relaxants to help me in the evening! Report
good to know I am borderline diabetic thanks Report
...my last job was stressful as well as chaotic...never know when i was getting off...lots of times got very little sleep...then out of nowhere diabetes...so maybe??? Report
Great info Report
Very interesting! Report
Hadn't put this one together with Diabetes. Report
NASFKAB
Great useful blog Report
TWO DRs told me to get better sleep. I have been sleeping better but my FBS is often higher in the morning.
I will take a month off using MELATONIN and check my FBS every morning. Pat in Maine. We shall see.!! Report
be careful what you take. sleep should be normal, not pill induced. Report
Melatonin isn't safe for everyone, it also interferes with certain Meds people take on a regular basis. That's why you need to ask your doctor before taking over the counter stuff. Quit thinking supplements are ok just because they are easily available or the latest fad! Report
MUKESHNEGI
I think doing exercise for half and hour is best for everyone.

www.govtjobsinuttarakhand.in Report
What? I was under the impression from earlier research and articles that melatonin to help one sleep to PREVENT diabetes. I'm still in the pre-diabetes stage but we have been taking melantonin under this apparently mistaken belief?? Report
LETSFOOTY
Sports is also good for you thats why many sports personality are fit and fine
check sports schedule: www.euro2016cup.com/euro-2016-fixtu
res
Report