A new scientific study by the National Institutes of Health, published in the journal Diabetes Care, has just established a link between regular sleep schedules and risks of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension.

More concretely, the study reveals that each hour of delay is likely to increase the risk of developing these pathologies by 27%.

“Many previous studies have shown the link between insufficient sleep and an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic disorders,” said study author Tianyi Huang, Sc. D., epidemiologist with the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

But we didn’t know much about the impact of irregular sleep, the great daily variability in the length and timing of sleep.

Our research shows that, even when we take into account the amount of sleep and other lifestyle factors, each difference of one hour between night and night to go to bed or the duration of a night’s sleep multiplies the negative metabolic effect. »

To conduct this study, researchers followed 2,003 men and women aged 45 to 84 over a period of 6 years. Sleep quality and quantity were measured via bracelets capable of recording activity during sleep (by detecting movement, awakening phases, sleep fragmentation). Participants also kept a diary of their sleep patterns, completed questionnaires on sleep patterns and other lifestyles.

The results

People whose bedtime and number of hours of sleep varied more had a higher prevalence of metabolic problems.

The profiles of the most irregular people are more likely to be night workers, smokers, sleeping less than average. They also have higher depressive symptoms, and are more prone to sleep apnea.

“Our results suggest that maintaining a regular sleep schedule has beneficial metabolic effects,” said Susan Redline, MD, co-author of the study and Chief Medical Officer of the Sleep Disorders and Circadian Disorders Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

For researchers, these data therefore invite everyone to strive to maintain regular sleep schedules and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

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