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Shift workers 'at higher risk of diabetes due to sleep deprivation'

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Scientists have warned that staff who regularly work shifts may be more susceptible to diabetes and obesity if they do not have enough sleep at the right time of the day.

Findings from a study involving 21 adults found that alterations made to normal sleep patterns led to the body having difficulty in processing sugar levels. Within a few weeks the report, which was circulated in the journal Science Translational Medicine, also discovered early signs of diabetes among some of those in the health trial.

Participants in the experiment started off by sleeping for 10 hours every night, and were then subject to a broken pattern of sleep for three weeks after sleeping well. Researchers made the day longer by extending it to 28 hours, simulating a similar environment to a person who often gets jet lag from flying regularly.

The people in the study could only sleep for 6.5 hours a night in the longer days, and because of this scientists found that blood sugar levels were “significantly increased” straight after the participants ate and also throughout the “fasting” times.

As a result of the findings experts have urged for action to lessen the effect working shifts have on employees.

 

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Does this mean that as Diabetes runs in my family I can ask to stop doing internal rotation in order to reduce the risk to my health?

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  • I have always said night shifts were bad for my health-now I have some research to prove it. Will this stop my shifts being higgledy pigialdy and missing breaks etc I doubt it .Hah Ha
    One can only try !!!!!

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