Irregular Sleep Patterns associated with several Metabolic Disorders

A new study in Diabetic Care reported that not following a regular bedtime and wake up schedule and getting different amounts of sleep each night can put people at higher risks for obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, high blood sugar, and other metabolic disorders. In fact, they found that for every hour of variation in bed time and time asleep, a person can have up to a 27% greater chance of experiencing a metabolic abnormality. Past studies have shown a link between insufficient sleep and metabilic disorders but had not evaluated the factor of irregular sleep and disorders. This research showed that even after considering the amount of sleep a person gets and other lifestyle factors, everyt one hour night to night difference in bed time or the duration of a nights sleep multiplies the adverse metabolic effect.

In this study researchers followed 2003 men and women, ages 45 to 84, participating in the NHLBl-funded Multi-Ethnic Srtudy of Atherosclerosis. Subjects were followed for a median of 6 years to evaluate the relatiopnship between sleep regularity and metabolivc effects. Subjects wore actigraph wrist ewatches to closely tract sleep schedules and to provide objectivity for seven consecutive days.  They also kept a sleep  diary and responded to standard questionaires about sleep habits and other lifestyle and health factors. The actigraphic tracking took place between 2010 and 2013 and subjects were followed to 2016-2017. Results showed the variations in sleep duration and bedtimes preceded the development of metaboliv disorders and provides some evidence supporting a causal link between iurregular sleep and metabolic disfunction.  Other findings include that participants whose sleep varied more than one hour were more likely to be African-American, work non-day shift schedules, smoked, and had shorter sleep duration.  This group also had higher rates of depression symptoms, total caloric intake, and index of sleep apnea.  Researchers said that increasing sleep duration or bedtime variation was strongly associated with multiple metabolic and simultaneous problems such as lower HDL cholesterol. and higher waist circumference, blood pressure,  total triglycerides, and fasting glucose. In summary, maintaining as regular sleep schedule has beneficial metabolic effects.

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