Diabetes, obesity linked to night shifts

Source: Healthcare Traveler, April 17, 2012

Nurses that work third shift, or alternate shifts, should take heed of a new study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), of Boston, that reinforces the finding that too little sleep, or sleep patterns that are inconsistent with our body’s “internal biological clock,” may lead to increased risk of diabetes and obesity.

This finding has been seen in short-term lab studies and when observing human subjects via epidemiological studies. However, unlike epidemiological studies, this new study provides support by examining humans in a controlled lab environment over a prolonged period, and altering the timing of sleep, mimicking shift work or recurrent jet lag. …

…The researchers saw that prolonged sleep restriction with simultaneous circadian disruption decreased the participants’ resting metabolic rate. Moreover, during this period, glucose concentrations in the blood increased after meals, because of poor insulin secretion by the pancreas.

According to researchers, a decreased resting metabolic rate could translate into a yearly weight gain of over 10 pounds if diet and activity are unchanged. Increased glucose concentration and poor insulin secretion could lead to an increased risk for diabetes. …
See also:
Adverse Metabolic Consequences in Humans of Prolonged Sleep Restriction Combined with Circadian Disruption
Source: Orfeu M. Buxton, Sean W. Cain, Shawn P. O’Connor, James H. Porter, Jeanne F. Duffy, Wei Wang, Charles A. Czeisler, and Steven A. Shea, Science Translational Medicine, Vol. 4 no. 129, 11 April 2012
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