Losing 30 minutes of sleep per day may promote weight gain and adversely affect blood sugar control

Losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep per day on weekdays can have long-term consequences for body weight and metabolism, a new study finds. The results will be presented Thursday, March 5, at ENDO 2015, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego.

“While previous studies have shown that short sleep duration is associated with obesity and diabetes, we found that as little as 30 minutes a day sleep debt can have significant effects on obesity and insulin resistance at follow up,” said lead study author Professor Shahrad Taheri, MBBS, PhD, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, in Doha. “This reinforces earlier observations that sleep loss is additive and can have metabolic consequences.”

Because of social and work commitments, people often accumulate sleep debt during weekdays and make up for lost sleep over the weekend. But weekday sleep debt may lead to long-term metabolic disruption, which may promote the onset of, or exacerbate the progression of, type 2 diabetes mellitus.

“Sleep loss is widespread in modern society, but only in the last decade have we realized its metabolic consequences,” Taheri said. “Our findings suggest that avoiding sleep debt could have positive benefits for waistlines and metabolism and that incorporating sleep into lifestyle interventions for weight loss and diabetes might improve their success.” Via Losing 30 minutes of sleep per day may promote weight gain and adversely affect blood sugar control

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