Latest News » Disrupted sleep schedule can increase risk of diabetes

A  new study found that inconsistent sleep schedules can increase the risk of developing metabolic diseases.

A new study found that inconsistent sleep schedules can increase the risk of developing metabolic diseases.

Disruptions in your sleep schedule can be more than a nuisance — they can be a threat to your health. According to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, routine sleep changes as minimal as waking up earlier for work during the week can heighten the risk for metabolic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Patricia M. Wong of the University of Pittsburgh, who is the lead author of the study, termed the disconnect between a person's body clock and his or her socially imposed schedules as "social jetlag," and it's among the many factors contributing to the rising number of diabetes and obesity cases in the U.S. According to the Endocrine Society's Endocrine Facts and Figures report, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and more than 35.1 percent of adults are obese.

"Other researchers have found that social jetlag relates to obesity and some indicators of cardiovascular function, however, this is the first study to extend upon that work and show that even among healthy, working adults who experience a less extreme range of mismatches in their sleep schedule, social jetlag can contribute to metabolic problems," Wong said in a press release.

Wong explained that these metabolic changes are risk factors in the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The new research comes after past investigations of the effects of sleep disruptions and inconsistent schedules on health.

One study had looked specifically at the differing health risks between shift workers with inconsistent schedules and those who work during the day and can maintain routines. The research found that shift workers were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes than those who had regular daytime work hours.

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