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Sleep cycle changes can be detrimental to your health

In the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, a new study proposes that when routine sleep habits are disrupted, the danger for long-term health problems such diabetes and coronary disease rises. Sleep adjustments are connected to metabolic problems, including insulin resistance and a higher body mass index.

Although other exploration on the subject has linked sleep disruptions to poor health, the new study is the first to explicitly connect shifts in sleeping times to metabolic issues. Those issues were free of other variables, for example, sleep disorders, smoking, and financial status.

The scientists studied 447 middle-aged, healthy, women and men, aged 30 to 54, who worked no less than 25 hours weekly outside their homes. They each wore a motion-monitoring wristband, called Actiwatch-16, that recorded their rest and movement every day for a seven days. Surveys were utilized to evaluate their activity and dietary patterns.

Around 85 percent of the members of the study slept longer on their days-off than on days of work, while the other 15 percent woke up earlier on their days-off than on workdays, the study found. None of the participants kept up with their workday rest schedules on days-off.

man in bed eyes opened suffering insomnia and sleep disorder
“Around 85 percent of the members of the study slept longer on their days-off than on days of work.”

Those with huge contrasts within their sleep schedules on days of work and days-off displayed a tendency to have worse levels of cholesterol and fasting insulin, greater insulin resistance, bigger waist size, and higher body mass index (BMI).

This connection between what the scientists call “social jetlag” and the health risk factors persevered even subsequent to altering different measures of rest and lifestyle behaviors, such as physical movement and calorie consumption.

Social jetlag refers to the mismatch between an individual’s biological circadian rhythm [body clock] and their socially imposed sleep schedules. Other researchers have found that social jetlag relates to obesity and some indicators of cardiovascular function,” study creator Patricia Wong, of the University of Pittsburgh, said in a news release from the Endocrine Society.

The affiliation found in the research does not demonstrate an immediate cause-and-effect relationship between conflicting rest routines and the development of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

The study’s findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, on November 18.