Purpose of review: This review summarises and discusses the epidemiological evidence suggesting a causal relationship between sleep duration and cardio-metabolic risk and outcomes in population.
Recent findings: Sleep duration is affected by a variety of cultural, social, psychological, behavioural, pathophysiological and environmental influences. Changes in modern society-like longer working hours, more shift-work, 24/7 availability of commodities and 24-h global connectivity-have been associated with a gradual reduction in sleep duration and sleeping patterns across westernised populations. We review the evidence of an association between sleep disturbances and the development of cardio-metabolic risk and disease and discuss the implications for causality of these associations. Prolonged curtailment of sleep duration is a risk factor for the development of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke and may contribute, in the long-term, to premature death.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Diabetes; Hypertension; Naps; Obesity; Sleep deprivation.