Sebastian Schmid, MD, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Lubeck, Germany, led a comprehensive review of research related to sleep loss and its effect on metabolism. The investigation showed a “clear association between short sleep duration and an increased prevalence of the metabolic syndrome.”
Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term for various risk factors that raise the risk for heart disease and other health problems. The article published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology edition titled “The Metabolic Burden of Sleep Loss” points out that: “An increasing number of studies show an association between short sleep duration and sleep disturbances with Type II diabetes.”
Experimental studies point to mechanisms by which insufficient sleep adversely affects health. Changes in the activity of endocrine systems seem to be major mediators of the detrimental metabolic effects of insufficient sleep.
Although long-term interventional studies proving a cause and effect association are still scarce, sleep loss seems to be “an appealing target for the prevention, and probably treatment, of metabolic disease (i.e. Type II Diabetes).”