Maintaining a consistent pattern of seven to eight hours of sleep during early to middle adulthood may lessen the risk for diabetes in women, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston identified sleep duration trajectories based on data from 60,068 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II. Associations between sleep duration trajectories and incident type 2 diabetes were evaluated.

The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 7.8 years, there were 1,797 incident diabetes cases. Persistent five-, six-, seven-, or eight-hour sleep duration trajectories were identified, in addition to increased or decreased sleep duration trajectories. Compared with the persistent seven-hour sleep duration group, the risk for diabetes was higher for most groups

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