Impact of Sleep and Circadian Disruption on Energy Balance and Diabetes: A Summary of Workshop Discussions

Sleep. 2015 Dec 1;38(12):1849-60. doi: 10.5665/sleep.5226.


A workshop was held at the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases with a focus on the impact of sleep and circadian disruption on energy balance and diabetes. The workshop identified a number of key principles for research in this area and a number of specific opportunities. Studies in this area would be facilitated by active collaboration between investigators in sleep/circadian research and investigators in metabolism/diabetes. There is a need to translate the elegant findings from basic research into improving the metabolic health of the American public. There is also a need for investigators studying the impact of sleep/circadian disruption in humans to move beyond measurements of insulin and glucose and conduct more in-depth phenotyping. There is also a need for the assessments of sleep and circadian rhythms as well as assessments for sleep-disordered breathing to be incorporated into all ongoing cohort studies related to diabetes risk. Studies in humans need to complement the elegant short-term laboratory-based human studies of simulated short sleep and shift work etc. with studies in subjects in the general population with these disorders. It is conceivable that chronic adaptations occur, and if so, the mechanisms by which they occur needs to be identified and understood. Particular areas of opportunity that are ready for translation are studies to address whether CPAP treatment of patients with pre-diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) prevents or delays the onset of diabetes and whether temporal restricted feeding has the same impact on obesity rates in humans as it does in mice.

Keywords: circadian disruption; circadian rhythm; diabetes; insulin resistance; metabolism; obesity; short sleep; sleep apnea; sleep disorders.

Publication types

  • Congress
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Endophenotypes
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Fasting / metabolism
  • Food Deprivation
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / metabolism
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors


  • Insulin
  • Glucose