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Lack of sleep linked to diabetes and other metabolic disorders

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Metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes and obesity could be linked to interrupted sleep or simply not getting enough shut eye.

That is the theory published in a paper in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, which suggests that getting the right amount of sleep is key to improving metabolic health.

Additionally, this should come as great interest to those in the medical profession who are no strangers to long shifts during anti-social hours, which can play havoc with their body clocks.

“These findings open up new strategies for targeted interventions aimed at the epidemic of the metabolic syndrome”

Bernd Shultes

The study suggests tackling interrupted sleep caused by conditions such as sleep apnoea can directly benefit patients’ metabolic health.

But a much more common problem is people just not getting enough sleep, according to the authors.

The research draws a link between disturbing the body’s natural sleeping and waking cycle and poor metabolic health, in addition to higher rates of chronic illness and early mortality.

Reasons for the link have been unclear until recently but recent research is starting to point towards a loss of sleep affecting the body’s ability to metabolise glucose and control food intake, as well as maintain its energy balance.

The researchers, led by Professor Bernd Shultes, from the eSwiss Medical and Surgical Centre in St Gallen, conclude: “These findings open up new

Bernd Shultes

Bernd Shultes

“Ongoing and future studies will show whether interventions to improve sleep duration and quality can prevent or even reverse adverse metabolic traits.

“Meanwhile, on the basis of existing evidence, health care professionals can be safely recommended to motivate their patients to enjoy sufficient sleep at the right time of day.”

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