Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh claim regular shifts in sleep lead to long term health problems.
Sleeping in on the weekends seems glorious to most of the population of the world. However a new study claims disrupting the sleeping pattern on a weekend may be detrimental to the health. People may want to rethink sleeping late on the weekend.
The research was carried out at the University of Pittsburgh. The researchers claim sleeping late on days off cause’s metabolic health problems. Even regular sleep-time adjustments cause harm to the health. Problems such as insulin resistance and a higher body mass index arise due to more sleeping.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Regular sleep disturbances could lead to long-term health problems. Especially the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes is increased.
The sleep changes disrupt the internal clock of the body. The sleep disturbance damages the metabolic cycles and circadian rhythm synchronization in the body. It leads to increased fat accumulation, insulin secretion etc.
“Social jetlag refers to the mismatch between an individual’s biological circadian rhythm and their socially imposed sleep schedules. Other researchers have found that social jetlag relates to obesity and some indicators of cardiovascular function,” said Patricia M. Wong, MS, of the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA.
“However, this is the first study to extend upon that work and show that even among healthy, working adults who experience a less extreme range of mismatches in their sleep schedule, social jetlag can contribute to metabolic problems. These metabolic changes can contribute to the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
The researchers monitored 447 men and women for the study. The sleeping schedules of all the subjects were studies between 30 and 54 years old. For one week the participants were made to wear a sleep-tracking wrist wear. The wrist wear accelerometer (Actiwatch-16) monitored their movement during sleep for 24 hours.
It was found none of the participants continued their workday sleep schedules. Some even slept longer on weekends to compensate for sleep debt. As the sleep debt increased so did the health problems. The researchers also adjusted for as exercise, calorie intake, alcohol use etc.
“If future studies replicate what we found here, then we may need to consider as a society how modern work and social obligations are affecting our sleep and health,” Wong said.
“There could be benefits to clinical interventions focused on circadian disturbances, workplace education to help employees and their families make informed decisions about structuring their schedules, and policies to encourage employers to consider these issues.”
Other authors of the study include: Brant P. Hasler and Matthew F. Muldoon of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA; and Thomas W. Kamarck and Stephen B. Manuck of the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. Dr. Manuck is the head principal investigator of the Adult Health and Behavior Project Phase 2 study.