Short Sleep Duration Found Not to Lead to Insulin Resistance

But, less sleep may predispose to overeating by different mechanisms in men and women

FRIDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Short sleep durations do not lead to increased insulin resistance, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of SLEEP.

Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., from St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, and colleagues conducted a randomized crossover study in which 27 normal-weight 30- to 45-year-old adults who habitually slept seven to nine hours a night were studied under a short (four hours in bed) or habitual (nine hours in bed) sleep condition. For each four-day study period, a controlled diet was provided and fasting blood samples were obtained daily.

The researchers found that body weights were significantly reduced by 2.2 ± 0.4 lbs and 1.7 ± 0.4 lbs during the habitual and short-sleep phases, respectively. Sleep duration had no effect on glucose, insulin, and leptin profiles. There were sex differences in ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) responses. Fasting (P = 0.054) and morning (08:00 to 12:00) (P = 0.042) total ghrelin increased during the short-sleep phase in men but not women. For GLP-1, the reverse was seen, with afternoon levels (12:30 to 19:00) lower (P = 0.016) in women but not men after short-sleep periods compared with habitual sleep.

"These data suggest that, in the context of negative energy balance, short sleep does not lead to a state of increased insulin resistance, but may predispose to overeating via separate mechanisms in men and women," the authors write.

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