Self-reported sleep duration is associated with the metabolic syndrome in midlife adults

Sleep. 2008 May;31(5):635-43. doi: 10.1093/sleep/31.5.635.


Study objective: Short and long sleep duration have been linked to various risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In the present study, we evaluated the relationship between sleep duration and presence of the metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of physiologically interrelated risk factors for cardiometabolic disease.

Design/setting: Cross-sectional community-based cohort study.

Participants: One thousand two hundred fourteen participants from the Adult Health and Behavior Project registry (aged 30 to 54 years).

Measurements: Participants were divided into 4 groups based upon their reported sleep duration. The metabolic syndrome was defined according to the American Heart Association/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's criteria. Logistic regression was used to test the hypothesis that sleep duration is a significant correlate of the metabolic syndrome and its components.

Results: The observed metabolic syndrome rate (22%) was similar to that of published health statistics for American adults. After covariate adjustment, the odds for having the metabolic syndrome increased by more than 45% in both short and long sleepers, compared with those sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night. Sleep duration was also associated individually with abdominal obesity, elevated fasting glucose, and hypertriglyceridemia. After further adjustment for use of antihypertensive medication, prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its components remained elevated in short sleepers only.

Conclusion: These data suggest that sleep duration is a significant correlate of the metabolic syndrome. Additional studies are needed to evaluate temporal relationships among these measures, the behavioral and physiologic mechanisms that link the two, and their impact on subsequent cardiometabolic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Pennsylvania
  • Registries
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Blood Glucose