Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha, Qatar, have found that people who lose 30 minutes of sleep on weekdays may experience change in metabolism and weight gain.
People who accumulate sleep debt during weekdays and make up for lost sleep over the weekend may promote the onset of Type 2 diabetes due to metabolic disruption.
Shahrad Taheri, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, and the lead author of the study, said, "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. This reinforces earlier observations that sleep loss is additive and can have metabolic consequences."
The researchers recruited 522 patients with newly diagnosed type-2 diabetes. Height, weight and waist circumference were measured at the beginning of the study. The participants were told to strictly maintain sleep diaries, from which their weekday 'sleep debt' was calculated.
Compared with participants who had no weekday sleep debt, the participants with weekday sleep debt were found to be 72% more likely to be obese. For every 30 minutes of weekday sleep debt there was an associated 17% increased risk of obesity and 39% increased risk of insulin resistance.
Hectic work schedules, erratic socializing and watching television late into the night are the reasons for people to lose precious hours of sleep during the weekdays. Losing sleep during the weekdays can lead to long-term metabolic disruption, which may promote the onset or aggravate the progression of type-2 diabetes mellitus.