Irregular sleep and inconsistent bedtimes may raise your risks for metabolic disorders like high blood sugar, obesity, hypertension and high blood sugar, a new study suggests.
Although sleep's full purpose is poorly understood, a growing body of research indicates that regulating the body's clock is key to regulating metabolism, too.
Most of that work has looked at the effects of getting too little sleep, but the new study, conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital, suggests that even if we're getting enough sleep, irregularity can disrupt metabolism.
Keeping to a regular sleep schedule, on the other hand, may prevent not only metabolic problems, but combat depression and encourage heart health, the researchers argue.
People whose sleep schedules shift by even an hour a night may be at greater risk for metabolic disorders including high blood sugar, hypertension and obesity, study suggests
The body operates according to a sort of internal clock that can be gauged not by minutes or hours but rhythms.
These circadian rhythms are marked by the ebb and flow of various hormones and biological process and take place over the course of a bout a 24 hour day.
Circadian rhythms, when functioning properly, tell us when to eat and when to sleep through changing hormone levels.
But the relationship works in both directions. What and when we eat or sleep can throw off those rhythms too.
We know that sleeplessness increases the risk of diabetes, primarily because it alters the release of insulin in the body.
The hormone, insulin, allows our metabolic system to properly process and break down glucose, which the body in turn converts to