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Irregular Sleep Patterns Linked To Increased Risk Of Metabolic Disorders

5 years, 1 month ago

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Posted on Jun 05, 2019, 5 p.m.

A sporadic sleep schedule is suggested to lead to a higher risk of obesity, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, hypertension, and other metabolic disorders based on the findings from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded research. As published in the journal Diabetes Care findings revealed an increased risk of metabolic problems by up to 27% for every hour of variability in bedtime and in the amount of sleep.

The study involved 2,003 participants between the ages of 45-84 from the MESA study who were analyzed on average for 6 years to identify potential connections between irregular sleep patterns and metabolic abnormalities; sleep trackers were worn for 7 consecutive days, and each of the participants kept sleep journals, and reported sleep habits as well as other lifestyle and health factors. Based on their findings the participants were found to have had a greater risk of metabolic problems by up to 27% for every hour of variability in bedtime and in the amount of sleep.

Participants whose sleep duration varied more than one hour were more likely to work non-day shift schedules, smoke, have shorter sleep duration, higher depressive symptoms, higher total caloric intake, and symptoms of sleep apnea; irregular sleep was strongly associated with multiple metabolic problems such as higher blood pressure, higher waist circumference, higher total triglycerides, and higher fasting glucose based on findings.

“Many previous studies have shown the link between insufficient sleep and higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders. But we didn’t know much about the impact of irregular sleep, high day-to-day variability in sleep duration and timing. Our research shows that, even after considering the amount of sleep a person gets and other lifestyle factors, every one-hour night-to-night difference in the time to bed or the duration of a night’s sleep multiplies the adverse metabolic effect.” says Tianyi Huang of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“Our results suggest that maintaining a regular sleep schedule has beneficial metabolic effects. This message may enrich current prevention strategies for metabolic disease that primarily focus on promoting sufficient sleep and other healthy lifestyles.” adds Dr. Susan Redline.

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