Sleep Quality, Metabolic Link May Surprise You

Poor sleep quality and short sleep duration are associated with adiposity, obesity, and other cardiometabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.


To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed data on 1986 participants from the PREDIMED-Plus trial. All the participants were aged 65 years or older, were overweight or obese, and had metabolic syndrome.


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The associations of accelerometry-derived sleep duration and sleep variability with body mass index, waist circumference, and body composition were assessed. Prevalence ratios for obesity and type 2 diabetes were also determined.


The participants were categorized and examined as either “bad sleepers,” defined as age-specific non-recommended sleep duration plus sleep variability above the median, or “good sleepers,” defined as age-specific recommended sleep duration plus sleep variability below the median.


Results showed that a 1-hour per night increment in sleep duration was inversely associated with body mass index, waist circumference, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other absorptiometry-derived adiposity-related measurements.


The researchers found that among those categorized as bad sleepers, there was a positive association with obesity compared with good sleepers.


“This study revealed cross-sectional associations of sleep duration with adiposity parameters and obesity,” the researchers concluded. “Sleep duration and sleep variability were associated with type 2 diabetes. Considering simultaneously sleep duration and sleep variability could have additional value, particularly for type 2 diabetes, as they may act synergistically.”


—Colleen Murphy



Rosique-Esteban N, Papandreou C, Romaguera D, et al. Cross-sectional associations of objectively-measured sleep characteristics with obesity and type 2 diabetes in the PREDIMED-Plus trial. Sleep. 2018;41(12):zsy190.