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Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2007 Jan-Feb;34(1-2):1-9.

Sleep and metabolic control: waking to a problem?

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Sleep and Circadian Research Group, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


1. The aim of the present review is to outline: (i) the association between sleep and metabolism; (ii) how sleep duration influences the development of disease; and (iii) how sex differences, ageing and obesity may potentially influence the relationship between sleep, metabolic control and subsequent disease. 2. Sleep is associated with a number of endocrine changes, including a change in insulin action in healthy young individuals. Sleep duration shows a prospective U-shaped relationship with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. 3. Chronic sleep restriction is becoming more common. Experimental sleep restriction impedes daytime glucose control and increases appetite. 4. The sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone influence sleep duration and quality and may account for sex differences in the prevalence of sleep-related disorders. 5. Ageing is associated with a decreased sleep duration, decreased muscle mass and impaired insulin action. 6. Obesity impairs insulin action and is associated with the incidence and severity of obstructive sleep apnoea. 7. Sleep plays an integral role in metabolic control. Consequently, insufficient sleep may represent a modifiable risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes. The challenge ahead is to identify how sex differences, ageing and obesity could potentially influence the relationship between sleep and metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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