The festive period is often seen as the perfect time to catch up on some zzz's, but is it doing you more harm than good?

It's not uncommon to nap until the afternoon on New Year's Day – and for us ladies it's actually good for your health, according to a new study.

But long sleeps have the opposite effect on blokes, giving you a good excuse to kick them out of bed to walk the dog or make that much-needed cuppa.

The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found women who have lie-ins could lower their risk of diabetes.

Whereas men who snooze their alarms for just five minutes get the opposite effect, according to the study of the link between gender, sleep and insulin levels.

But blokes are also at risk after a sleepless night, as too little kip could increase the risk of diabetes.

Dr Femke Rutters, from the VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said: "In a group of nearly 800 healthy people, we observed sex-specific relationships between sleep duration and glucose metabolism.

"In men, sleeping too much or too little was related to less responsiveness of the cells in the body to insulin, reducing glucose uptake and thus increasing the risk of developing diabetes in the future.

"In women, no such association was observed. This research shows how important sleep is to a key aspect of health."

We recently revealed how getting up before 6am makes you healthier and happier, and it can even boost your love life.

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