Global rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are increasing globally concomitant with a rising prevalence of sleep deprivation and sleep disorders. Understanding the links between sleep, obesity and T2DM might offer an opportunity to develop better prevention and treatment strategies for these epidemics. Experimental studies have shown that sleep restriction is associated with changes in energy homeostasis, insulin resistance and β-cell function. Epidemiological cohort studies established short sleep duration as a risk factor for developing obesity and T2DM. In addition, small studies suggested that short sleep duration was associated with less weight loss following lifestyle interventions or bariatric surgery. In this article, we review the epidemiological evidence linking sleep duration to obesity and T2DM and plausible mechanisms. In addition, we review the impact of changes in sleep duration on obesity and T2DM.
Keywords: diabetes mellitus; long sleep; obesity; short sleep; sleep; sleep deprivation; sleep duration; sleep manipulation; type 2 diabetes.