In a new study, researchers found that irregular sleep patterns can put people at a higher risk of metabolic diseases.
They found that people who cannot stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule are more likely to have obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
The research was conducted by a team from the National Institutes of Health.
In the study, the team examined how sleep patterns influence people’s metabolic functions.
They focused on the impact of irregular sleep, high day-to-day variability in sleep duration and timing.
They examined 2,003 men and women aged 45 to 84. The participants were followed for six years.
The team found 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 could harm metabolic functions.
In fact, for every hour of variability in time to bed and time asleep, a person may have up to a 27% greater chance of having a metabolic disorder.
According to the authors, this provides some evidence supporting a causal link between irregular sleep and metabolic conditions.
They also found that people whose sleep duration varied more than one hour were more likely to be those work non-day shift schedules, smoke, and have shorter sleep duration.
They also had higher depression, caloric intake, and risk of sleep apnea.
The team says that maintaining a regular sleep schedule can benefit metabolic health.
This message may enrich current prevention strategies for metabolic disease.
One author of the study is Tianyi Huang, Sc.D., epidemiologist of the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The study is published in the journal Diabetes Care.
It was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
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