People who are consistently failing to get enough quality
sleep at night are at greater risk of developing diabetes or
becoming overweight, a recent Harvard study has suggested.
The study is one of the first to tie abnormal sleep patterns to
the disease, which could also be interpreted as a connection
between lifestyle factors and health implications.
Sleep is becoming significantly downgraded as part of our daily
routines. Those who work long hours or unsociable hours are forced
to compromise on their regular eight hours at night, staying awake
later and waking up earlier. These lifestyle choices could be
significantly effecting our health, as has been suggested by the
Some 21 men and women were observed in a sleep laboratory, with
some of the participants only being allowed 5.6 hours compared to a
control group who were allowed to sleep regularly. Those who had a
reduced amount of sleep showed a slowdown in their metabolism as
well as a reduction in insulin protection, which are both
significant contributors to weight gain and increased blood
The researchers found that when the subjects were deprived of
sleep their metabolism rate dropped by 12 per cent. It was also
calculated that when the volunteers slept for less than five and a
half hours they burned off 120 fewer calories that day.
The research has been published in the journal Science
Translational Medicine, and additionally found that other
activities such as eating and being active at times that are at
odds with the body's internal clock can raise the risk of diabetes
Orfeu Buxton, the lead study author, said: "We disrupted not just
the timing of sleep but the timing of meals, so it seems that
eating meals at an unusual time may also play a role.
"If you're going to work at night, you might want your biological
clock to join you on shift and have your biological daytime be
during that night shift."
Posted be Elizabeth Mewes