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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jul;20(7):1379-86. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.97. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Effects of sleep restriction on glucose control and insulin secretion during diet-induced weight loss.

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Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


Insufficient sleep is associated with changes in glucose tolerance, insulin secretion, and insulin action. Despite widespread use of weight-loss diets for metabolic risk reduction, the effects of insufficient sleep on glucose regulation in overweight dieters are not known. To examine the consequences of recurrent sleep restriction on 24-h blood glucose control during diet-induced weight loss, 10 overweight and obese adults (3F/7M; mean (s.d.) age 41 (5) years; BMI 27.4 (2.0) kg/m(2)) completed two 14-day treatments with hypocaloric diet and 8.5- or 5.5-h nighttime sleep opportunity in random order 7 (3) months apart. Oral and intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) data, fasting lipids and free fatty acids (FFA), 24-h blood glucose, insulin, C-peptide, and counter-regulatory hormone measurements were collected after each treatment. Participants had comparable weight loss (1.0 (0.3) BMI units) during each treatment. Bedtime restriction reduced sleep by 131 (30) min/day. Recurrent sleep curtailment decreased 24-h serum insulin concentrations (i.e., enhanced 24-h insulin economy) without changes in oral glucose tolerance and 24-h glucose control. This was accompanied by a decline in fasting blood glucose, increased fasting FFA, which suppressed normally following glucose ingestion, and lower total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations. Sleep-loss-related changes in counter-regulatory hormone secretion during the IVGTT limited the utility of the test in this study. In conclusion, sleep restriction enhanced 24-h insulin economy without compromising glucose homeostasis in overweight individuals placed on a balanced hypocaloric diet. The changes in fasting blood glucose, insulin, lipid and FFA concentrations in sleep-restricted dieters resembled the pattern of human metabolic adaptation to reduced carbohydrate availability.

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