Purpose of review: To highlight the adverse metabolic effects of sleep disruption and to open ground for research aimed at preventive measures. This area of research is especially relevant given the increasing prevalence of voluntary sleep curtailment, sleep disorders, diabetes, and obesity.
Recent findings: Epidemiological studies have established an association between decreased self-reported sleep duration and an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D), obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Experimental laboratory studies have demonstrated that decreasing either the amount or quality of sleep decreases insulin sensitivity and decreases glucose tolerance. Experimental sleep restriction also causes physiological and behavioral changes that promote a positive energy balance. Although sleep restriction increases energy expenditure because of increased wakefulness, it can lead to a disproportionate increase in food intake, decrease in physical activity, and weight gain.
Summary: Sleep disruption has detrimental effects on metabolic health. These insights may help in the development of new preventive and therapeutic approaches against obesity and T2D based on increasing the quality and/or quantity of sleep.