Irregular Sleep Pattern Can Negatively Impact Metabolic Health

Sleep is precious – more than just because staying in bed is relaxing. Without sleep, you are bound to feel fatigued the next day. Your focus is distracted and there’s fog filled in your brain. Apart from short-run drawbacks, lack of sleep also has many adverse impacts that last in the long-term.

From diabetes to cardiovascular disease, insomnia causes a number of ailments. Now a new study has found that it is not only shortage of sleep that can cause health concerns to rise. In fact, sleeping and waking at a different time every day is also linked to health problems such as hypertension, high blood sugar, etc. Alas, most people don’t have a set time on which they sleep and wake.

The worse the difference in one’s sleep schedule every day, the worse effects on his health. Let’s dive into this study which has been published in the Diabetes Care journal below.

What Did This Study Reveal?

A new research reveals that not having a set routine for sleeping and waking increases the odds of developing health concerns such as high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. This report says that variability in a person’s sleep schedule can up his risk of experiencing a metabolic disorder by 27%.

For the purpose of this research, participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis which is NHLBI-funded were followed. Among the 2,003 people both the genders could be found and were studied for a period of six years so as to analyze the link between sleep regularity and metabolic disorders. Participants were made to wear actigraph wrist watches for seven days in a row.

These folks also kept a sleep diary and filled questionnaires that talked about their lifestyle and sleep habits. Actigraph tracking was carried out between 2010 and 2013 whereas participants were followed till 2016 and 2017. It was concluded that the hypothesis of the investigators was correct – participants who had irregular sleep patterns developed metabolic abnormalities.

These metabolic complications even persisted after people set their sleep regimes. The study also concluded some other points. These included:

  • People who’s sleep varied for more than an hour were likely to smoke
  • The majority of these people were African-American
  • They had a shorter sleep duration
  • They had high index of sleep apnea, calorie intake, and depressive symptoms

Susan Redline, coauthor of the study 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.”

Key takeaway

As per research it’s not only lack of sleep that needs to be corrected but our sleep routines as well. A latest study reveals that sleeping on a different time every day can cause issues such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc. Therefore, it is crucial to have well-timed sleep-wake cycle for every day to keep enjoying a great quality of life.