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Study: Nightshifts Increase Risk of Diabetes and Obesity

Study: Nightshifts Increase Risk of Diabetes and Obesity

(ePharmaNews) - Working nightshifts not only ruins social life, but also health, as sleep patterns that are inconsistent with our body's "internal biological clock" may lead to increased risk of diabetes and obesity, a study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) found.

In the study, published on April 11 in Science Translational Medicine, researchers hosted 21 healthy participants in a completely controlled environment for nearly six weeks. The researchers controlled how many hours of sleep participants got, as well as when they slept, and other factors such as activities and diet.
Participants started with getting optimal sleep (approximately 10 hours per night). This was followed by three weeks of 5.6 hours per 24-hour period cycling at all times of day and night, thereby simulating the schedule of rotating shift workers. The study ended by giving the participants nine nights of compensatory sleep at the usual times.

The researchers noted that prolonged sleep restriction with a simultaneous circadian disruption decreased the participants' resting metabolic rate which could translate into a yearly weight gain of over 5 kg. Moreover, during this period, glucose concentrations in the blood increased after meals, most likely due to less insulin secretion, meaning an increased risk of diabetes.

"We think these results support the findings from studies showing that, in people with a pre-diabetic condition, shift workers who stay awake at night are much more likely to progress to full-on diabetes than day workers," said Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD, BWH neuroscientist and lead study author. "Since night workers often have a hard time sleeping during the day, they can face both circadian disruption working at night and insufficient sleep during the day. The evidence is clear that getting enough sleep is important for health, and that sleep should be at night for best effect."

 Finally, some of the scientists advised those who work at nights to try to organize their lives and sleep times as close to normal as possible, and to be make sure they sleep enough during the day in a quiet and a very dark room. Not eating too much food can also help.

اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Prepared by: Mohammed Kanjo
Translated by: Marcell Shehwaro

Source :


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