London, Oct 16 (IANS) A new study has suggested lack of sleep could be actually killing us, dramatically raising the risk of weight gain and developing dangerous diabetes.
Even as it is believed that the main function of sleep is to rest the brain, researchers have discovered that even fat cells need rest to work efficiently.
A US study has shown that insufficient sleep has a harmful impact on fat cells, reducing by a third their response to insulin, the hormone which regulates energy.
Over time, insulin resistance also progresses into diabetes. Researcher Matthew Brady, of the University of Chicago, said: "Many people think of fat as a problem but it serves a vital function."
The study has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, an academic medical journal published by the American College of Physicians.