A recent study shows that a consistent sleep schedule can provide advantages to metabolic health. The good habit lessens the risk factors that trigger metabolic syndromes like hypertension, obesity, and hyperlipidemia. Metabolic syndrome is a clump of chronic conditions that lead to type 2 diabetes, stroke, cardiac disease, and other serious diseases. The researchers focused on the variation of sleep pattern and the occurrence of metabolic risk factors in more than 2,000 adults aged 45 to 84 years old. They discovered that for every 1-hour discrepancy of sleep duration every day, there was a 27% risk that it might advance metabolic factors. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) sponsored the survey which was published in “Diabetes Care”, a health journal. In between 2010 and 2013, the male and female partakers joined the survey and put on an actimetry sensor, a wrist-watch tracker for a week to monitor sleep-wake cycles. They also kept a journal and finished questionnaires about their sleep schedule, way of life, and other information about their health.

Tianyi Huang, the corresponding study author said, “Many previous studies have shown the link between insufficient sleep and a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.” In the survey, the participants with the highest discrepancy in their bedtime and total sleep time were probably the ones to acquire metabolic defects in the future. The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP/ATP III) reported the risk factors that cause metabolic syndromes. It includes: equal or greater than 40.2 inches waistline for male and 34.6 inches waistline for female; more than 150 milligrams per deciliter level of blood fat; under 40 mg/dl level of high cholesterol for men and 50 mg/dl for women; and if you are given medications for high blood pressure and diabetes. While it was still not proven, the authors agreed that metabolic disorders were associated with irregular sleep patterns. The study co-author, Susan Redline, concluded, “Our results suggest that maintaining a regular sleep schedule has beneficial metabolic effects.”