Sleep deprivation or disruption increases risk of diabetes and obesity

ABC World News reported that “we have the first real evidence of what sleep disruption does to your body and your health.” The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports, “Too little sleep – or disrupted sleep – seems to increase the risk of diabetes and obesity, scientists found during a” study published in Science Translational Medicine.

Bloomberg News reports that in the “trial of 21 men and women observed in a sleep laboratory, those allowed only 5.6 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period over three weeks had a slowdown in their metabolism and a reduction in insulin production.”

The Huffington Post reports, “Although the study was small, it is particularly valuable because – unlike past studies that were only short-term or observational – this study actually placed people in a controlled environment where researchers were able to change how long they slept and the time of day that they slept (similar to what shift workers might experience).”

On MSNBC “Vitals” blog, NBC’s Chief Science and Medical Correspondent Robert Bazell writes that “the experiment clearly demonstrates that shift work can make people diabetic. For people who already have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, it can make the conditions worse.”

The Boston Globe reports, “The study adds to the growing body of evidence that shortened sleep or sleeping at odd times is associated with negative health effects.” Research “published last year reported that among 175,000 nurses studied, those who worked night shifts three or more times a month, for more than two years, were at increased risk for type 2 diabetes.”

The new study “suggests one possible mechanism that could account for that difference, and scientists now plan to study the biology in further detail, to understand exactly why a disrupted or shortened sleep schedule sends insulin levels off-kilter.”

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