FOR many of us, we spend most of the week looking forward to Saturday just so we can have a lie-in.
But now experts say that just an hour extra in bed can increase your risk of obesity and heart problems by a third.
The new research, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, was published in the journal Diabetes Care today.
It showed that for every hour of variability in time to bed and time asleep, the risk of obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and high blood sugar goes up 27 per cent.
Dr Tianyi Huang, epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, said: “Many previous studies have shown the link between insufficient sleep and higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.
“But we didn’t know much about the impact of irregular sleep, high day-to-day variability in sleep duration and timing.
“Our research shows 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 multiplies the adverse metabolic effect.”
Every one-hour night-to-night difference in the time to bed or the duration of a night’s sleep multiplies the adverse metabolic effect
Dr Tianyi Huang
For the current study, researchers studied 2,003 men and women, ages 45 to 84, for a median of six years.
They were asked to wear special actigraph wrist watches for seven consecutive days to closely track sleep schedules.
Participants also kept a sleep diary and responded to standard questionnaires about sleep habits and other lifestyle and health factors.
The tracking was logged between 2010 and 2013, and were followed until 2016 and 2017.
The results showed that individuals with greater variations in their bedtimes and in the hours they slept had a higher prevalence of metabolic problems.
Participants whose sleep duration varied more than one hour were more likely to work non-day shift schedules, smoke, and have shorter sleep duration.
They also had higher depressive symptoms, total caloric intake, and index of sleep apnea.
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Increasing sleep duration or bedtime variability was strongly associated with multiple metabolic and simultaneous problems such as lower HDL cholesterol and higher waist circumference, blood pressure, total triglycerides, and fasting glucose, the authors found.
Co-author Dr Susan Redline, senior physician in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said: “Our results suggest that maintaining a regular sleep schedule has beneficial metabolic effects.
“This message may enrich current prevention strategies for metabolic disease that primarily focus on promoting sufficient sleep and other healthy lifestyles.”
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