Could sleeping less be a Cause of weight gain?
"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," lead study author Professor Shahrad Taheri said in a statement.
"This reinforces earlier observations that sleep loss is additive and can have metabolic consequences." Anyone who is busy during the week, whether it's due to work or social commitments, knows that the weekends are for catching up on sleep. However, losing sleep during the week and making up for it later is shown to be a bad idea.
According to the new findings, weekday sleep debt may lead to long-term metabolic disruption, which may promote the onset of, or exacerbate the progression of, type 2 diabetes mellitus.
"Sleep loss is widespread in modern society, but only in the last decade have we realized its metabolic consequences," Taheri explained. "Our findings suggest that avoiding sleep debt could have positive benefits for waistlines and metabolism and that incorporating sleep into lifestyle interventions for weight loss and diabetes might improve their success."
Based on an analysis of 522 patients just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, Taheri and his colleagues found that those who were short on sleep during the week were 72 percent more likely to be obese. By the 6-month mark, weekday sleep debt was significantly associated with obesity and insulin resistance.
What's more, at 12 months, for every 30 minutes of sleep lost during the week (compared to normal), the risk of obesity and insulin resistance increased by 17 percent and 39 percent, respectively.